The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says it has recorded an increase in the number of road accidents from January to June this year.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the road accidents have increased from 1 791 last year to around 2 000 this year over the same period, representing a 22 percent increase.
In an interview yesterday, he said the increase in road accidents is mainly due to carelessness by road users who do not observe road signs.
Said Kadadzera: “Of the 2 000 accidents, 841 have been caused by overspeeding, 199 were due to ignoring road signs while 165 were a result of careless overtaking. Careless overtaking and overspeeding mainly concerned with motorists while ignoring road signs involves both motorists and pedestrians.”
He added from the recorded accidents, 500 were fatal, representing a 15 percent increase from last year’s 400 in the same period.
Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) spokesperson Angellina Makwecha could not be reached for comment yesterday, but last year, she told The Nation that the increasing road accidents were due to motorists’ negligence on the road.
“In terms of traffic law enforcement, you will agree with me that both DRTSS and Traffic Police officers are always on the road making routine checks. With the current road traffic situation, we have intensified day and night enforcement,” she said.
Kadadzera has since urged the general public to observe road signs to reduce accidents.
“Do not wait for law enforcers to be on the road for you to observe the rules. If we do this we will surely arrive alive,” he said.
According to World Health Organisation, nearly 1.3 million people die in road accidents each year while 20 to 50 million others are injured globally.