Members of Parliament (MPs) want tough laws to give motorists a greater incentive to drive carefully and government to investigate the rising road carnage.
The causes include speeding; drinking and driving; poor signs; tired truck drivers; poorly trained drivers of public minibuses, a lack of public awareness, resulting in pedestrians darting across highways; people crossing roads while talking on mobile phones; and badly maintained vehicles.
Enforcement of the existing laws is a problem. Malawi traffic police are notorious for taking bribes for minor offences rather than cracking down on drivers who brazenly flout traffic regulations.
Mwanza Central MP Davis Katsonga (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) said “Malawi is losing a lot of people yearly” and urged authorities to investigate the cuases of the accidents.
Mzimba North MP Agness Nyalonge (Peoples Party –PP) said government should practically check on the carnage on the roads and protect lives.
She persuaded government ti act more and talk less and reminded Parliament if the moved moved by Chitipa South MP Werani Chilenga (PP), which the House adopted. Calling for a ban on overloading passengers on commuter buses and boats.
Chilenga asked for introduction of tough new road and water transportation regulations which could prevent deaths and injuries in most of the accidents.
He asked that Section 237 of the Penal Code to be amended to include water transport and that Section 237 (e) be put into force to punish offending drivers and boat operators.
Among other changes, in the wake of the passing of the motion, buses are technically banned from carrying standing passengers, while all the seated passengers should buckle up in seat belts.
All minibuses should observe sitting capacities and should operate strictly on designated routes, especially in cities, and must be identifiable by numbering and colour codes.
Concerning water transport, it was stressed that boats and other passenger carriers should be well serviced, must not overload and must have the capacity to be receiving weather updates from the Meteorological Department, to avoid encountering life-threatening adverse winds and related hazards.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :