The Zambia Road Safety Trust is saddened at the loss of 25 lives in a traffic accident that occurred in Serenje on Thursday night. The Trust wish to send our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and also wish all those who were injured, a quick recovery and return back to their normal lives.
According to the Zambia Police and the Road Transport and Safety Agency joint statement, 22 people died while 48 passengers sustained injuries in an accident involving a Power Tools, Scania bus registration number ACR 6315 which was coming from Nakonde heading to Kitwe with 70 passengers on board.
The accident happened in the early hours of 16th September, 2016 at about 01 30 hours, 2 Km from Serenje turn off in Malekani area when the driver of the bus Baron Chibwe, 39 failed to negotiate a curve due to excessive speed. 15 males, five females and one female juvenile were killed.
Unfortunately, in the last five years, the Zambia Road Safety Trust has observed that road accidents fatalities have increased by over 100% from about over 1000 fatalities in 2011 to over 2000 fatalities by 2015 every year.
And in addition to the traffic fatalities, over 10,000 people are yearly injured, most of them disabled that they may never walk or work for the rest of their lives. The Central Statistics Office, (CSO) says between 2010 and 2012, of all the causes of deaths in Zambia, 11 percent were as a result of accidents, just behind HIV/AIDS and Malaria.
These accidents have an enormous social and economic impact; the World Bank estimates that over 3 percent of our own GDP is lost in road traffic accidents.
And on the social level, a loss of a breadwinner by a family, emotional pain and suffering, funeral costs, loss of household income, all these drags innocent families into poverty and there is no compensation.
The Trust welcomes His Excellency, the President of Zambia Mr. Lungu’s call for tough measures to stop the increase of road accidents during his inauguration speech. Specially that most of the measures that have put in place by government in the past five years, have not adequately addressed road safety.
While, it’s the responsibility of every road user to act responsibly on the road, the government holds the utmost responsibility to protect all of us on the road.
We therefore asking our government to come up with coherent, evidence based interventions that can effectively address these traffic accidents. The government should be all means avoid reactive un-evidence based responses to accidents which are counterproductive
We want to see targeted evidenced based road safety awareness campaigns, road safety education for school children that can charge road user behaviour, defensive driver training for those public service drivers, effective responsive emergency systems, targeted evidence based enforcement by the police and the Road Transport and Safety Agency.
Daniel Mwamba, Chairman for the Zambia Road Safety Trust sad:
“Even those business people who make a living transporting people should ensure that their drivers are adequately trained and should be ultimately held responsible for loss of innocent lives in their buses”.
The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), a not for profit organisation, seeks to create awareness on road safety and contribute towards reduction in road traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Zambia, with over 2100 deaths in road crashes per year and 50 fatalities per 100,000 residents, is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. The Zambia Road Safety Trust has a particular role to play in terms of personalising the Road Safety Issue (advocacy), creating a sense of urgency and generating a demand for safety from the public.