Africa-Press – Botswana. The newly introduced civil servants’ salary payment schedule is keeping the police on their toes as every weekend comes payday.
In the past, the police used to have their busiest weekends only at the end of the month but that is no longer the case as civil servants are paid weekly throughout the month.
Divisional Traffic Officer for South Central, assistant Commissioner, Reginald Matlhaba told The Monitor, that accidents continue to claim lives. He said, sadly they happen every weekend now following the new civil servants’ payment schedule.
Matlhaba said before the new payment schedule that was introduced in April they used to experience busy weekends at the end of the month but things have changed as nowadays every weekend looks like month-end.
“We used to record high numbers of accidents … on month-end but things have changed as every weekend is a month-end to someone. People usually indulge in alcohol and have parties at month-end but with this new payment schedule, we have to be on our toes every weekend,” Matlhaba said.
Matlhaba said last week only six people lost their lives on the road in the Southern–Central districts and the majority of those accidents were alcohol-related. He stated that sadly the people who die in high numbers are pedestrians and passengers with the majority of the accidents being alcohol-related.
“Last weekend five people also lost their lives on the road in my policing area something that calls for immediate attention. We have also recorded minor and serious accidents in which people sustained serious injuries that left some hospitalised, but we have not shared them because we were focusing on fatal accidents. Most of the accidents occur in the early hours of the morning and late at night,” he said.
Matlhaba called for sober driving, pointing out that alcohol affects drivers in many aspects including their attitude, judgement, vigilance, and reaction time to mention but a few. The senior traffic officer attributed most of the alcohol-related accidents to speeding and drivers failing to observe road signs.
“We are currently investigating a case in which three people dead on the spot in Tsolamosese in Mogodistahne on Saturday late afternoon which we strongly believe was an alcohol-related crash. On Thursday early morning a 36-year-old woman who was a passenger also lost her life in an alcohol-related accident near UB circle. Most of these accidents occur when both the driver and passengers are intoxicated driving up and down between drinking holes,” he said.
Sharing the same sentiments, No 16 district traffic officer, Superintendent Tuelo Komanyane said alcohol-related crashes continue to claim lives amongst the youth. Komanyane disclosed the concern after disclosing to be investigating an accident in which a Toyota Blaze car that had seven people on board was involved in an accident in Mahalapye on Saturday.
“Luckily all of them escaped the accident with injuries but investigations into the matter are ongoing to establish what transpired because they all fled the accident scene following the incident. We suspect that the driver must have lost control of the car and hit an electricity pole by the roadside,” he said.
Komanyane further stated that they suspect that they might have been all under the influence of alcohol looking at the number of people carried in the car, which was over its capacity.
He also disclosed they are investigating a fatal accident in which a 22-year-old man suspected to be the driver of a car that was involved in an accident was killed by another car while seeking help near Bonwapitse along the A1 Highway on Saturday night.