Road accidents in Karonga have claimed 55 lives and increased by 20 per cent.
Karonga Police Officer In-Charge (OC), Brenant Chitanda said 84 accidents were registered between January and December 2018, against 70 in 2017.
He said the accidents have increased in the district due to overspreading, common among minibus drivers.
“Out of the 84 accidents registered this year, 55 lives were lost. 35 people escaped with different degrees of injuries and some of them are still receiving medical treatment.
“We are sad with these results, but we will continue to enhance traffic checks and patrols,” Chitanda said.
He said police would continue sensitising drivers, motorcycle operators, bicycle taxi operators and pedestrians on road safety issues.
Chitanda said despite the district experiencing increase in road accidents the police in the district have managed to reduce crime rate by 9.7 per cent.
“We have registered a total crime of 647 cases from January to December in 2018 against 717 in 2017, reflecting a remarkable crime reduction of 9.7 percent,” he said
The OC said community policing awareness through meetings and radio sensitization programs and strengthening good working relationship with the public contributed to the success.
Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa called on the police and the judiciary to give stiffer penalties to drivers in the wrong.
“These drivers are very careless. They don’t even care that they have taken precious lives of people in their vehicles. This is very bad,” he said.
Kyungu blamed some passengers who board a minibus even if its recommended capacity is over saying such behaviour should also be stopped.
He condemned traffic police officers for the continued corrupt practices which he said compromises road traffic regulations.
“We see un-road worth vehicles passing roadblocks not only here in Karonga but across the country. Are we really serious in reducing road accidents in the country?” Kyungu wondered?
(Written by Andrew Mkonda Mana)