THE story of a speeding mushikashika, which hit a female pedestrian on Wednesday, shows the danger such vehicles and their operators are to everyone and to themselves.
The fact that people continue breaking the law by driving these pirate vehicles and playing cat-and-mouse with the police every other day, means pedestrians and motorists’ lives are in danger.
Many people are dying, or getting injured, after being involved in accidents with mushikashika vehicles.
The fact that these things continue to happen means there is still need to do more to warn people against violating traffic laws.
The media has also constantly carried stories of people who possess fake licences and drive these illegal vehicles and commuter omnibuses.
Going through the pain of getting a fake licence is an even bigger crime than merely driving without a licence.
Because, when one gets a fake licence, they never intend to learn how to drive and will forever be a danger to other drivers and whoever they will ferry on the roads.
Some such criminals have been sentenced to over two years behind bars as getting fake licences means putting the lives of innocent people in danger.
Magistrates have ruled that a sentence, other than a custodial one, would not meet the justice of such cases or stop would-be offenders from committing similar crimes.
A lot of road rules are being broken and it is the innocent citizens who are being endangered by such crimes.
You still find drivers, even licensed ones, driving vehicles without permits or VID certification because they believe that nothing will happen to them.
They go about their business disregarding traffic and other laws – because nothing will happen to them, nothing painful enough to make them worry, at least.
Mushikashika drivers go about breaking every traffic law, they speed, go through red robots, overtake at prohibited curves . . .
They give each other driving lessons while carrying passengers and anyone who dares raise concern is attacked using vulgar language.
Many of them drive without licences and nothing is done to them.
Some even attempt to run over police at road blocks – reports say some actually do – and still nothing is done to them.
But the law has flexed its muscles now.
And, those who do not have the proper papers and licences better stay off the roads.
Over 2000 vehicles have since been impounded since the police started their latest operation.
Ambitious drivers must take their time to earn drivers licences and touts must just look for other means to earn a living.
If they are so interested in the transport business, then touts must have the ambition to become real drivers, of real vehicles approved and registered with Zupco, and get genuine licences.
The sentences aside, all Zimbabwean drivers, and aspiring drivers, must think of the passengers and pedestrians, whose lives they endanger when they break traffic laws.