The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is saddened by the loss of 17 people who died when a light Canter truck they were travelling on plunged into Shoprite Checkers Mazabuka branch in the early hours of today.
Southern Province Police Chief Mary Chikwanda confirmed that the accident was caused by excessive speeding by the driver.
ZRST Chairman Daniel Mwamba has since urged transporters to be equally responsible for road safety.
Mr Mwamba called on government and other stakeholders to immediately offer suitable training to all their professional drivers as part of a broader risk management system to help in reducing accidents in Zambia.
He disclosed that the Trust would develop a practical organisational road safety guide in consultation with the Road Transport Safety Agency (RTSA).
Mr Mwamba said the guide would help the road users to act accordingly when accidents occur.
“We’re upset by this senseless tragedy and I’m calling upon all transporters or truck owners to immediately offer suitable training to all their professional drivers as part of a broader risk management system, which would help in reducing accidents in the country,” he said.
This was contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
Mr Mwamba observed that professional drivers have a higher risk of being involved in a traffic accident because most of their working time is spent on the road.
According to the Police in Zambia, statistics indicate that over 2000 people are killed every year and tens of thousands seriously injured.
The figures further state that Zambia is one of the worst performing countries where road safety is concerned.
But Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Deputy Minister Richwell Siamunene said government was concerned about the high number of road traffic accidents in the country.
Mr Siamunene recently said road carnages and injuries have become the third major killer after HIV/AIDS and malaria.
He said road accidents have also become a drain to national resources because of the cost associated with attending to the injured and dead people.
And Southern Province Police Commissioner Mary Chikwanda told AFP that the Canter truck carrying mainly fishermen from Lusaka to Monze failed to stop at a traffic light and hit a Shoprite store in Mazabuka before overturning.
The driver, who also died on the spot, was speeding and so he failed to stop at the traffic light and went straight into Shoprite.