Police launch probe into tyre bursts
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe have started carrying out research into accidents involving tyre bursts, following a series of fatal road accidents that occurred late last year and early this year.
Indications are that the research results could lead to legislation compelling motorists who purchase second hand vehicles from Asia and Europe to change tyres before they use the vehicles on local roads.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo confirmed that the research had already started, adding that the outcome of the research will assist the ministry and law enforcers to reduce road accidents.
“What is disturbing us is the increase in tyre burstinduced accidents. In this regard, my ministry fully supports the recent ban on importation of the second hand tyres.
“I’m informed that ZRP and the TSCZ are carrying out research on the accidents involving tyre bursts for the first half of the year 2016.
“My ministry is eagerly waiting for the results of this exercise,” Minister Gumbo said.
Tyre bursts are usually caused by using secondhand tyres or those that don’t conform to technical standards, high temperatures, driving at high speed and stunts indulged in by reckless drivers, particularly youngsters.
Other causes include wrong air pressure, which changes the shape of tyres while moving and collision of tyres with the sidewalk or solid objects that fall from other vehicles.
Under-inflation, overloading and potholes have also contributed to tyre bursts.
Minister Gumbo also said there has been a marginal decrease in road accidents in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year while the number of deaths has increased.
“On average, there are five people killed daily on our roads while approximately 38 persons are injured. While the number of traffic accidents which occurred during the first half of this year declined by six percent from 21,934 to 18,451, and the number of deaths dropped by eight percent from 6,287 to 5,790, the Government is worried about the disasters that occurred during this period.
“These contributed to the increase in fatalities from 793 in 2015 to 847 for the same period this year,” he said.
Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed that they were conducting the research together with TSCZ.
“We’re doing the research with TSCZ. However, we will release the statistics soon,” he said.