Malawi Police say an increase in number of bicycle taxi operators in Salima district has increased road accidents.
This was revealed on Tuesday when the Station Executive Committee presented its work progress report for the just ended year.
Salima Police Officer-In-Charge Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Chingaipe said in the year 2015, the station registered 72 road accidents and in 2016 registered 89 road accidents.
He said that most of the accidents occurred because most of the bicycle taxi operators are illiterate and do not follow road safety regulations.
“Salima is growing and in future it will be a city, so there is a need to sensitize all local bicycle operators with road safety tips so that the rate of accidents caused by bicycles can be reduced,” Chingaipe pointed out.
He added that if the trend of accidents recurs, the police through the district council will take charge and stop bicycle taxi operators from operating on the main roads as other districts have done.
Traditional Authority Karonga said despite some measures being put in place to reduce a number of bicycle taxi operators, there is still an overwhelming increase of operators in the district and there is a need of civic education.
“The district council once tried to put some control measures to reduce the number of operators by putting an operating fee but it did not bring a change as the number of operators keeps increasing” he said.
Despite bicycle taxi operators being the main cause of accidents in the district, some accidents were claimed to have been caused by over-speeding and drunk driving, according to police.