THE recent move by the ministry of Transport to launch an electronic learners' driver's licence testing process is commendable.
As part of the ministry's fight against corruption, prospective drivers will now have to use the newly-introduced Electronic Learners Licence Testing System (ELLTS) to obtain their provisional licences.
Going the electronic route limits the interaction between the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) officers and those taking the test.
For a long time, the VID has been a hub of corrupt activities, with their officers charging anything between US$20 to US$100 to facilitate aspiring drivers to pass their provisional tests.
In the worst case scenarios, some people were even getting their provisional driver's licences without even setting foot at a VID depot by just paying off corrupt officials. Sadly, the rot has been contributing to the carnage on the roads.
In 2018 alone, there was a nine percent increase in road accidents deaths after 1 986 were killed on our roads compared to 1 828 in 2017. There was also an increase in recorded road traffic collisions from 42 950 to 52 052 in the same period.
The major worrying statistic is that 90 percent of all these collisions was a result of human error as most drivers were speeding, driving under the influence while a majority were unlicensed. The corruption at VID has now caught up with Zimbabweans judging by these depressing road accidents. As we approach the Easter holidays, there is a high possibility that more accidents will occur on our roads due to the high volume of vehicles on the move.
ZRP must also work hand in glove with VID to ensure all unlicensed drivers, vehicles and unroadworthy vehicles are taken off the roads.
However, the rolling out of this ELLTS will go a long way in ensuring there is now transparency at VID and Joel Biggie Matiza and his team at the ministry of Transport must be commended for this.
But it must be noted that the department's officials were making a killing so they are likely to come up with more sophisticated means of trying to circumvent this new system. The software developers must always be on their toes and ensure their system in impenetrable so that the ELLTS keeps its integrity.
It is also high time the VID goes beyond just the ELLTS and also ensure they use technology to curb corruption during road tests. The department can invest in camera, microphone and tracking systems that are fitted on all vehicles going out on a road test.
Everything the instructor and the prospective driver discuss will be captured electronically while VID supervisors monitor their staff.