With the exponential increase in the ownership of vehicles in the country, we have seen a corresponding increase in traffic transgressions and what can be termed downright parental indiscretions. It would seem for many motorists, they have this mistaken notion that having a baby on the front passenger seat is a sign of love. In fact we have even observed some that have gone a gear up by driving with children on their laps.
We believe we need to raise these issues and call our drivers to order, and we are doing this out of love. What prompts this intervention is what we have observed in the city of Bulawayo, from bad driving habits, such as driving while one is on the phone, disregard for traffic lights and driving without licences.
Elsewhere in this edition we carry an article on a motorist that blocked a busy road while chatting with a friend, and left a toddler on the wheel and the child kept excitedly turning the steering wheel of the car while the engine was running.
We really wonder what happened to our manners and if some of these indiscretions are not chargeable, since this amounts to exposing the child to danger, not to mention blocking the road and many other moral breaches that one would not expect from an adult. As more and more people get behind the steering wheel, including the very uncultured ones, there is a need to enforce the law so that we do not reduce our streets to a traffic jungle.
Already, there are parts of the city that are already no-go areas for cautious drivers, such as Herbert Chitepo Street and Leopold Takawira Avenue, Sixth Avenue and Fort Street and 10th and 11th Avenues.
The Bulawayo City Council has attempted to introduce a traffic management system that is more of a revenue measure than a traffic control bid. We applaud council though for ensuring that motorists park properly though the charges are a topic for another day.
We have seen with concern though that certain busy areas could cause accidents as there is now a culture of parking on the road. This cancer is growing along Robert Mugabe Way between 8th and 9th avenues, causing vehicles to change lanes all of a sudden upon discovering there would be stationary vehicles ahead.
The little ones learn from adults and the recklessness that we exhibit before their eyes will be multiplied back to society when they grow up and start driving on our roads. We believe motorists should drive with due care and regard for one another without endangering other motorists and pedestrians alike.
As for the safety of children, the law should be enforced because in case of accidents we could lose many children unnecessarily due to the habit of having unsecured children staring out of the window from the front seat, and excitedly getting behind the wheel once the parent steps out. Let us be responsible motorists, mannered citizens and think safety first.