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Road safety specialists call on government to enforce speed limit

Road safety specialists in the country have cautioned government that unless it enforces the 30 km/hour speed limit, the country would continue experiencing a rise in road traffic accidents which would in the long run affect its socio-economic progress.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, Road Safety Foundation (ROSAF), Founder and Executive Director, Joel Jere said road accidents in the country were claiming productive lives of citizens, a trend, he said would compromise the country’s socio-economic development.

“We are deeply saddened by the rise in traffic accidents on the roads of Malawi resulting in fatalities and injuries of vulnerable road users who most of them are children and women.  These road crashes, fatalities are unacceptable as they are preventable.

“These heart-wrenching accidents underscore the urgent need for speed limit enforcement to protect pedestrians. We appeal to government of Malawi to honor its commitment it made at the United Nations High Level meeting on July 1, 2022 and immediately start implementation of the 30km/hour speed limit”, said Jere.

ROSAF Founder and Executive Director Joel Jere

He said the surge in pedestrians and child fatalities are due to over-speeding of drivers in schools and market places.

“We therefore urge government to direct the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to embark on replacement of 50km/hour speed limit road signs with the new 30km/hour signs and further direct the Malawi Police Service to penalize drivers exceeding the new speed limit,” he said.

Jere said the rise in fatalities are “stark reminder of the devastating consequences of inaction, reckless driving and of adequate traffic calming facilities on our roads.”

“We therefore urge government to prioritize road safety and take concrete steps to save lives.”

Road Safety Foundation is a local non-profit organization established in 2016 to promote road safety education and safer transport system.

In an earlier interview, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara admitted that the rate of carnage on the county’s roads was a “grave concern to the country.”

“These accidents have and continue to claim skilled work force and children. As government, we are very much concerned to note that despite our efforts to reverse the situation, road accidents continue to rise. We are therefore citizens to work closely with government to improve the situation,” Hara said.

According to the 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) report, Malawi has the ninth highest incidences of traffic accidents in the world.

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