Zimbabwe’s roads have become death trips

HARARE - During the Easter holidays 44 people died on our roads. Since then we have heard of more deaths. Twenty five perished in a single bus accident near Karoi. Many more were badly injured, possibly crippled for life.

When we read such headlines or view gruesome pictures on TV, we say How terrible, absolutely awful, we speculate a little on how this might have happened, shrug our shoulders and carry on as before. We do nothing. There is no national will to make a change.

Most road disasters involve public transport. Bus companies do not maintain their vehicles properly. A young girl student died in a mini-bus after a rear tyre burst and the vehicle with 20 young people on board overturned and rolled four times. The driver had been consistently over-speeding. Though warned by the passengers, he continued speeding at far beyond the legal limit.

Often buses race each other, trying to snap passengers away from each other. Drivers are often overworked and tired out which is the responsibility of the employer.

Our roads are in an appalling state. The main arteries between north and south, east and west should all be dual carriage highways. They are not. Head-on collisions are the result. This is the indirect effect of our ruined economy which does not produce the revenue needed to build good roads. Leaders who selfishly look only after themselves and their clients while neglecting the Common Good are the culprits.

The Right to Life is the most fundamental of all human rights. It must be written as Number One into our new Constitution.

But words on paper are not enough. If we are serious about the Right to Life being the Number One of all human rights, we must educate the driving public, especially professional drivers of public transport vehicles, must control the highways, and punish bus owners who neglect their vehicles.

The Catholic Church insists on the inviolability of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. That does not refer only to unborn life in the womb and euthanasia. It refers also to the most unnatural death on our roads. It is not good enough to comment on the latest bad news, These things will just happen there is nothing we can do. There is a lot we can do and must do. That is why we were given intelligence and a moral conscience by our Creator.

If the Church is serious about respecting Life and the whole of Creation, about teaching the Fifth Commandment You must not kill, then she must also rouse the consciences of Christians and all men and women of good will and ask them: what do you do to stop the slaughter on our roads?

Post published in: Opinions
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