Monday, May 20, 2024

Overloading could have caused the Luangwa accident – RTSA


One of the boy who survived the Luangwa bridge road accident in his hospital bed at UTH
One of the boy who survived the Luangwa bridge road accident in his hospital bed at UTH

A preliminary report into the Luangwa road traffic accident, which claimed 14 lives on Saturday night, indicates that the bus was overloaded.

According to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the overloading might have made it difficult for the driver to apply emergency brakes.

Among the dead were six females and eight males who included the driver.

Three children aboard the bus, registration number ABA 4611, lost their mothers and were among the survivors evacuated to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka.

RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko said in an interview yesterday that the bus had 72 passengers at the time of the accident instead of its normal capacity of 60 people.

He said records by RTSA officials, who inspect buses at Inter-City Bus Terminus in Lusaka indicated that the bus had left with 60 passengers, but that the overloading along the way could have compromised the ability of the bus to be controlled.

“From our preliminary report, the accident could have been caused as a result of the failure by the driver to apply breaks which might have been caused by overloading,” Mr Soko said.

Mr Soko also said the agency had asked the minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications to come up with a policy that would introduce a drivers’ timetable for public service vehicles to avoid accidents.


    • I am in support of the last part “Time table” or schedule because these drivers get tired. Its not Brakes, the driver was tired and lost control.

      Overloading is common if you are going to: Solwezi, Mongu, Mpulungu, Kasama and Chipata.

    • This soko boy appears to know something that can help bring safety and sanity onto our roads but the biggest challenge is changing the mindset, changing the pathetic attitudes of many Zambians towards safety, towards work….etc

      Zambians must change or perish

    • Is it “couild” or could…LT proof read your articles before posting. Pa Zed we like Copy-pasting!!

      Otherwise condolences to the bereaved families and friend of the deceased.

    • Zindaba u need to go to university again your nortec certificate is not helping go do transport planning and mass quantification over load of 10 people have a negligeable effect as each vehicle has mass to ratio allowance of 10% excess tonage
      If u told us driver dosed off I would buy your excuse this is the stupidity of getting senior jobs on political and tribal appointments

  1. Overloading!!? Of course it is overloading, ask my grannies they already know buses on this route always overload and yet RTSA gets to know this after preliminary investigations!!?

    • This bus chances are that it was not overloaded at all, since children are not issued with tickets when traveling with parents or guardians. May be it was a mechanical faulty or driver got tired. Sad indeed for the lives lost.

    • Brakes fail from time to time especially when you overload the weight capacity that your vehicle was designed to transport. Overloaded brakes work harder and overheat(Kinetic energy converted into heat energy).This can eventually result into mechanical brake failure.

    • @soulosi
      hahahahah kinetic energy ya nkala heat energy muma brakes.. please soulosi dont post such psedo science theories public forums like this!! theories like yours are they ones which make chinese to be clever than Zambians.
      Soulosi that is very wrong,,, i challenge with your degress and masters papers and i will use my basic physics!!!!

    • @ndobo…you are the one who is showing your ignorance here.Come on bro get back to your basic physics.Kinetic energy from the cars motion is converted into heat energy when the car suddenly stops.If you remember you basic physics they say that “energy is neither created nor destroyed” I`m sure if you went to driving school they also taught you something about the domino effect.

    • @Saulosi please be kind, even if its defending sure, look at that boy in picture, how heavy is he to generate “Kinetic Energy”?
      There could be two reasons:
      – God’s will or
      – Obstacle on the road, such as bump, water or Banana peal, you know pa Luangwa too much bananas.

    • @Nostradamus…ha ha ha.Mwansekesha imwe ba guy.Nice one…you have made my morning.Naya naku coffee break with a ka smile.Lol

    • @Nostradamus
      thank you my brother those are the correct optional answers
      according to newtons… a body remains in a stationery sation or continues to move in a straight line provided there is no external force applied on it.
      Now the brake in the bus act as the external force from within the engine to change the speed or stop the bus, kinetic enery in active motion energy.. so for the bus to have stop then the force from applied brakes must have been equal to the (motion force)kinetic energy or more than. The brakes Must be uniform on all turning wheels.
      So now tell me where the kinetic energy is converted to heat energy????
      i have time to answer back, just so that you know!!!

    • @ndobo…ha ha ha.Years have gone ever since i did physic in university but lucky you i haven`t forgotten everything because i loved it(I have a distinction in it both at grade 12 and university).We can implicate the overload(mass) and the rate at which it was moving(velocity).The combination of Mass and velocity forms momentum(M×V).Now this momentum can also be expressed in kinetic energy(Energy because motion).And since this energy(momentum or Kinetic energy) cannot be lost( law of conservation of energy) it is instead converted into thermal energy(heat) and sound.You shouldn’t also forget that when the brakes were being applied more heat energy was formed because of friction between the tires and the road.So my dear brother that overheatin on the break pad can lead to break failure

    • @ndobo so basically the heat is being formed on the break pads and the tires.Thats where the kinetic energy goes to.Hope that helps.You can ask more questions if you want.I`m also free up to 3 pm, so we can chat.

    • @soulosi
      what accused the accident??… the bus was overloaded meaning that mass and weight increased in the bus…. therefore the momentum(force) increased ( kinetic energy also increased) !!… in turn that meant that for the bus to stop the force from the brakes was supposed to increased,, in this case it wasnt… thus causing the brake to fail. Hence accident
      so please re-look at your statement 3..

    • @ndobo…I don`t know why you are not getting it.Like i said the overweight(Mass) led to increased momentum.Breaks a designed to tolerate a certain force and when that doesn`t happen they fail because they can`t handle the pressure no wonder i talked about them being overworked and overheating.

    • @Soulosi
      refer to your own comments #3.1 and #3.14…
      Overloading can cause an accident because brakes can fail to handle the ` motion force`…. overheating a NO brainer!!!!!!!!!! and what do you mean overworked?
      If all kinetic energy is converted to heating energy we might end up with a massive fire… count to your comment 3.1

    • @ndobo…i can see that you never had a chance to sit in an A-level science class(Sorry if i`m making assumptions here).The explanation is the way it is.Try to consult any mechanical engineer they will tell you how the dynamics in the breaking system works.I recommend that you pick up any physics book and read in a section called motion (Especially section talking about-Acceleration,force,velocity,motion) and then the section on energy.After learning all the newton laws,touch on the laws of Thermodynamics.You will easily understand after you do that.Good lucky !

    • @soulosi
      I thought my question was simple…. what do you mean overheating and `overworked` in the brakes???
      put any all your A-level assumptions,,, and give a clear explanations here,, not ducking and diving!!!

    • Functioning brakes stop a vehicle by using friction.Friction results into heat generation.When the brakes overheat to a great degree, the metal in the brake rotors or drums develops hard spots. These are known as hot spots. The hot spots resist the friction from the brake shoes and pads. Because the shoes or pads have nothing they can grasp, there’s no friction. Consequently, braking power is lost.Hope this helps.

    • @soulosi
      hahahahahah… i like you explanation with a big laugh my brother… ýes friction produces heats!!!… “ when brakes overheat to a great degree( what is a great degree?) the metal in brakes rotors or drums develops hard spots (hard spots?? not hot spots?)`
      i rest my case i will consult clever than zambians chinese… have a great day brother!!!!

    • I have been following this discussion.Ndobo you have been completely outsmarted here.Why did you start something you have little or no idea about ? No wonder keeping quite is good at times.Good discussion gentlemen,now we know who went to school and who didn’t.

    • @ndobo…Ha ha ha.We are actually laughing about it with my colleagues in the office.I am just from giving them the link for this discussion and they are laughing at your questions and answers.One lady has described you as naive and confident.I won`t say what the dude said.Ki ki ki ki.Good day too bro.Lol

    • @janine
      Thankyou for your comment lady/ gentleman!!!.. am sure you are one of those lucky educated ones found on Lusaka times… sadily you failed to give your own explanations in your words on the topic, you chose the ease way out of being a discipile or cadre!!

  2. But what are those police inspection points dotted all over our roads for then ? I thought it is also their job to make sure that buses carry the right number of passengers ? Oh how did i forget ?! it is a third world country, the bus crew corrupted the cops at all the check points to be let through.Sad

  3. Mr Soko you are very intelligent and hardworking but this is a problem which you can not finish by your own efforts. Stop blaming or pointing fingers at any person. These are devilish sacrifices by satanists. At the moment Zambia needs the intervention of God. This is a spiritual problem. Ratsa seek God first.

    • @MOnk police, do you know how villagers move, i can swear to you that of those extra 12 each one had a minimum of 05X50 kg of katundu, or orders from lusaka. So total extra weight is how much…..

  4. overloading can’t cause brake failure. cause those busses are designed to carry a load of 16 MT.
    80 passeranger s would weigh about >
    80*100= 8MT


  6. Iyi problem ileisa na ma former dull chaps who eventually get educated like Soko.
    Ask him for his G12/Form 5 Certificate and you will laugh all the way to his office.
    Clearly this driver was overspeeding or is not familiar with that route hence misjudging his speed and braking distance.
    There is an almost permanent Road Block near that area, he had just been cleared so I would gather but corruption in Zambia is che.

  7. Loll!! Young men. I did physics P110 in 1985/6 at UNZA. I am happy I passed with a C+. Please do not remind me of Kinetic Energy. Please remind me of ecological energetics.
    Condolence to all families that have suffered loss in this accident. For the little ones in pain, God heal them and heal our land.

    • @Niza, yaw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ecological energetics naka C+ mu P110 mwauma depa ku biological sciences eventually becoming Doctors when you wanted to engineering. twalemomba boyi. You have made me laugh! UNZA in those days was UNZA naba RUPO. Sad about the Luangwa incident. No theories will bring back the deceased. Can RATs ensure that every bus that receives the station a comprehensive list of passengers on board is submitted to the station master. in that way we shall account for the people on board. where are the bus inspectors that would randomly check the bus load. kanshi fyaliya na UBZ?

  8. ….If our institution which is charged to look into our safety at our roads can come up with such a ‘childish’ preliminary report…then our safety on our roads is very compromised. It was better just to inform the public that investigations are still going on than giving us such crap…..
    – overload by 12 passengers on a 60 capacity bus technically has very minimal/negligible effect bus control…
    – skidding marks on tarmark for over speeding, tyre conditions, burst brake pipes, trace of alcohol in drivers blood, when last was the driver off duty can be ascertain within 48hrs and base the preliminary report on that ,
    – Can RSTA intercity bus inspectors really report that the bus was overloaded from the intercity…?

  9. RB has started killing people with his MMD for failure by easterners to support him in his cases, anyway don’t kill westerners please we more pipo for our new country BAROTSELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. @ Saulosi Nomunobe,Here is how a brake is manufactured and operate:-

    The holding Force imbeded in calipers/springs of the brakes is propotional to the Maximum caring capacity of any dynamic machine.

    So the heating ,the brake failure comes about moment you over look the capacity because its a factor calculated against any counter force.

  11. I have never seen any RATSA inspectors at Intercity. Someone is covering there ass here. Too much incompetence from the top right to the bottom, drivers, RATSA everyone. That’s why I never share my sit on the bus. Just try sitting next to me with 3 kids when you have paid for 1 seat and watch me lose it.

  12. Grammatically speaking, the headline should have read, “OVERLOADING MAY HAVE CAUSED LUANGWA ACCIDENT, RTSA”, as opposed to what is written. This accident DID actually take place. But since it is just LT, we do understand. Epo mpelele…

  13. This accident like many others, are a sad development. But I am surprised that overloading can be attributed to this accident. First of all, who has the standards to check if a bus leaving the Inter-city terminus is fit for travel, especially on long distance routes? Owners of buses are only interested on reaping profits, and care little about service of buses. Secondly, the same bus passed through a number of road blocks mounted by incorruptible police officers. Did they not notice that the bus was overloaded? Corruption caused that accident!

  14. Mr soko,overloading that bus by 10 is negligible, and you know the next to blame are the meaningless road blocks,why dont u copy good things from other countries within our region and bane traveling at night? Take a look at Botswana,Tanzania.For South Africa its OK coz they have due carriage ways no problem. Problem in Zambia is we are always act after an event has happened.Passengers are also to blame because they dont complain when a bus is overloaded.

  15. …and soon some clueless pastors will sweep their robes and identify a devil’s spot so they can pray against a curse on the steep slopes. Watch the space.

  16. While ya go ahead and talk abt kinetic energy,heat energy and da likes?ama keep it real.the bus jus wasn’t road worthy.Ronsil bought sub standard buses which were disposed off by juldan and u r there talkin abt kinetic energy chani chani uko.its simply corruption by ratsa officers issuin fake fitness tests.if nat then its juju,its december mind u,pipo need 2 pay their dues

  17. I strongly agree with RTSA when they say it was due to overloading, because braking efficiency depends on few factors like weight, braking distance and speed. This means that the efficiency of brakes becomes low due to weight


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