zebra crossing feature

Capitalk Reporter/ Nobert Basvi |  2 months ago | local



Somewhere in the obscure annals of Shona ethos, lies a nugget of ancient wisdom which says, “Muzivi wenzira yeparuware ndiye Mufambi wayo”. The cliché might be true to some but not for pedestrians and drivers in the capital city of Harare who on many occasions fail to communicate with each other on the roads due to lack of properly designed and monitored road signs which are critical like, pedestrian or zebra crossings.


A zebra crossing, also known as a marked crosswalk is a pedestrian crossing, marked with white stripes, designed for pedestrians to legally cross the road and they are usually found in towns and residential areas. They are vital in maintaining order in the streets as well as protecting both pedestrians and drivers on the road. They are an essential part of the roads and there would be chaos without them especially in places like Harare’s central business district, where there are high volumes of cars and pedestrians.


Although they are of paramount importance, their significance is marred with controversy as many do not know they ideally function. There is usually a blame game between drivers and pedestrians, with the former accusing pedestrians of modelling when using this crossing point and pedestrians accusing motorist for not stopping at all!


Capitalk 100.4 FM spoke to some pedestrians in Harare who said they no longer feel safe whenever they approach zebra crossings, as drivers seldom stop at these important places.


Contrariwise, drivers said although the law states that a driver must always give way when a pedestrian is already on the crossing, the risk of collision is increased by pedestrians who are sometimes unfamiliar with how such crossings are utilized.


Last year, the Harare city council, embarked on a program of renewing Zebra crossings on various roads in Harare to make it easy for pedestrians to cross. However, some residents think a lot still needs to be done by the city fathers to end this driver-pedestrian conflicts.


In conclusion, I know many of you will agree with me that the zebra crossing is one of the most disregarded signs on Harare's roads. Motorists may actually hit you on a pedestrian crossing, as if they have the right of way. That said, pedestrians should also remember that after a certain period of time, vehicles have to use the road as well, otherwise motorists will spend the whole day waiting for foot rollers to cross. It's a matter of understanding each other I suppose, but let's respect the pedestrian crossing! 


I'm Norbert Basvi, reporting for Capitalk 100.4 FM in Harare.