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Alba Iulia
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Zambia needs evidenced based road safety interventions

General News Zambia needs evidenced based road safety interventions

Scene of the Serenje accident
Scene of the Serenje accident

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.


    • In fact plying buses in night is safer than plying in day time. What is needed is rules of plying to be observed strictly from installation of speed limiters on all buses, trucks and government vehicles, daily inspection and confirmation of road worthiness of buses, trucks and government vehicles, random drug and substance tests before , on the road and on arrival of buses, trucks and government vehicles, identification of black spots and installation of spot checks at and around these black spots, mobile motorways patrols, annual sight, hear and physical medical checkups of drivers, engagement of insurance industry’s volunteers to enforce these and other good driving practices enforced in UK, USA , Australia, Canada and in many European countries where buses ply throughout the nights as…

    • …traffic is much lower in nights than day times.

      The problem with officers responsible for enforcing and ensuring our roads, vehicles and public are safe is that they are neither exposed to first world rules and regulations on licensing, monitoring and enforcements nor are they given freedom to operate professionally.

      When this accident happened, our Vice President came out instantly, a person who has no experience at all of public transport, roads and security and safety that the government is issuing a statutory instrument banning plying of buses between certain hours of the night. And once President and Vice President issue such statements it becomes law.

      Do we ever hear such frequency of accidents in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and Europe where per capita more buses ply…

    • Do we ever hear such frequency of accidents in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and Europe where per capita more buses ply on roads, day and nights? Why is it so? Find the simple answer to that why (strict rules as mentioned above and enforcement thereof of licensing, maintenance, inspection and enforcement).

  1. We just need new leadership because for how long have we advised these pf dander heads. Rtsa boss that soko boy is just good at wearing ray bans and chasing after younger girls. This is a failed state

  2. Evidence based safety interventions are known as good roads combined with efficient law enforcement and a strict vehicle and driver fitness certification systems. There is no magic wand to reducing accidents until you start valuing each and every life lost on the roads. We also need alternative transport such as efficient rail systems to interconnect the country and decongest the roads. Introduce heavy fines and stiff penalties for people found guilty for causing death by dangerous driving. The list is endless but yet lawlessness on Zambian roads is rife. You don’t even need to travel abroad to see how this is done. You have government iPads with free internet which these dunderheads can use to get ideas but instead they prefer to go on social media to chase young girls!

    • In Europe all intercity coaches are fitted with seatbelt and the bus driver has right to kick you out if you refuse to wear it…looking at one photo on social media of dead bodies tossed about in the cabin states that the cause of dead was not wearing seatbelt.

  3. Everything is compromised …who represents Bus drivers? Everything is compromised …the moment you start arrest bus owners for negligence will you see improvements.

    • Yes @Jay Jay,everything is compromised. These poor drivers are given unrealistic targets to achieve. I’ve personally seen a bus immediately offloading passengers at inter city starts off for Kitwe without even a mini check of the state of the bus. Night driving is not an excuse most times is simply FATIGUE,do a simple research by picking Dangote truck drivers ascertain how much time they’re given to recoup after their long haul across the country? Don’t even talk about traffic police ( day light thieves)!

    • All of them are just in it for getting as much money as possible to the point of compromising passenger safety…everyone is on the take; you can not have the selfsame people run these companies regulating themselves.

    • The Darkside. I can’t agree with you more. Evidence based decision making process starts with carry out a statistical analysis on the way the buses move from one point to another. Then check the working hours and routine of the BUS DRIVERS. Please note the capital letters!! Get hold of the bus owners and interview them on the work load and routine of their drivers and part of answer will be found. In RSA buses move throughout the night with a very robust control on both speed and driving hours per driver. The problem is even safety control personnel own these long distance buses so they don’t want to reduce profits

    • You can’t say no bus to move in the night. The results can be:1. There will be more congestion during the day. 2: loss of business. 3: negative impact on social interaction, say someone receives a message of a funeral in the afternoon and has to travel immediately. 4: more accidents as every one will now be rushing to beat the routine. 5: more corruption. Enforcement agencies being corrupted to be allowed to continue with a journey after those hours. To me setting traveling times is not a solution

  4. NGOs trying to make a living? What evidence-based are you looking for? Firstly Zambian roads, especially highways, have remained the same width and in most cases gradient since independence – widen them; introduce overtaking lanes, etc.; we keep resurfacing them and calling it development. Secondly, road-worthiness of vehicles does not mean harassing drivers who do not have those s.illy stickers you call reflectors (not even our colonial masters, the UK are using that law anymore). Leave those motorists alone and concentrate on other EVIDENCE of road-worthiness. Lastly remove corruption from drivers’ licencing. Is it too much to ask???

  5. Parking Lot Scam
    I would like to draw attention to what is going on in some parts of Lusaka in relation to the behavior of the so called Parking attendants. I think its about time motorists are alerted to some scam that is going round especially with the parking lots at Barclays Northend Branch and ZRA head office.
    There is a team of about 3 to 4 suspicious looking individuals who are in the habit of clamping vehicles considered improperly parked. The council needs to come up a better ID for us to be able to know who is a legitimate parking attendants or not. Law abiding tax payers are being swindled on their hard earned cash by these dimwits. This group of characters are in the habit of clamping vehicles with a very defective spiky device whenever someone parks their car temporary…

    • Why are you posting petty issues here..if you were hoodwinked tough luck don’t park there again. Don’t go crying everywhere like a silly toddler write to the Daily Mail Letter section.

  6. continued…
    to draw some cash from the ATMs at BBZ or to attend to some tax issues at ZRA.
    This bunch of *****s mascaraing as council employees are always hiding in the trees opposite the bank along the middle walk way. When one comes back to the car, they find these crooks surrounding the car whilst having placed their ugly looking spiky device under the front wheel of the drivers side. We cant allow this to go on because in the first place, there should a sign of NO PARKING ALLOWED and even these *****s should be there to direct the motorists not to park their car on that spot if at all its not allowed.
    The reason I believe this bunch of fools are not genuine is that I challenged them to show me their IDs and also for us to resolve the issue at their office when they clamped my…

  7. continued…
    They gave me a 100 reasons such as the office is far, no one will remain manning the spot, they are not allowed to get in customers car when I suggested we use my car to go tho their office, I could a serial killer and so on and so forth. When we argued for some time over the payment, a stranger came in to be an intermediary and suggested, I give them a little so that its a win win situation. This never really bothered me that time because giving them a K5 instead of a K50 seemed fair on my part and I was running out of time on a very hot day. So gave them something for water. Only after sometime did I think through and realized that these are a scam and not genuine Lusaka City Council employees. I see them almost on a daily basis harassing people on the same spot and I…

  8. continued…
    and I think this has to come to a stop.
    The council should put out an advert to state clearly whether that bunch of *****s are the only crew allowed to work on those spots in front of ZRA and BBZ. They council should also clearly put some signs to help motorists park their cars in the right spots. I am talking about motorist who might not be familiar with Lusaka.
    The the council just go into some kind of collaboration with RTSA for collection of some of these fees as I suspect about 95% of these are just scams. These guys can issue tickets that one can pay for online or at the council using a cashier as opposed to give money to any Jim and Jack that just goes directly in their pockets.

  9. Me I blame Ratsa and government for not putting in place stringent measures on these PSV drivers. Alot of these buses have killed a lot of people, but I have never heard of a driver who has been jailed. All we hear the driver is on the run, but you can’t tell that the owners of these buses don’t know where there drivers stay. If only government can put hush jail sentences, like 15 years and more for causing death by dangerous driving. These drivers will be careful for fear of going in. This time they don’t fear anything,coz they know even I kill them my boss or insurance will sort it out. The government should come out strong on this one, let carry the same sentence with difalment. I don’t know maybe the owners of these buses encourage there drivers to
    sacrifice people for rituals…

    • So far about 60 innocent passengers have lost lives in PSVs by the end of the year ..it will be 100…surely what does it for someone to act??

  10. Can the government burn these buses from moving at night. These drivers get tired, they don’t have time to rest. And the other thing let the bus owners put these drivers on monthly pay. Not this system of paying them on trips. This is the major contributor to these accidents, this driver would want to make a lot of trips so that he gets good money at the end of the day. But little do they realize that, they are putting lives of the passengers at high risk. So better the government must regulate and put a minimum wage for these psv drivers.




  12. Three major components to road safety: 1THE ROAD: This includes good roads (No potholes), rumble strips (midline and side to warn sleepy drivers they are getting off the line), reflective paint and side reflectors. Speed limit and other signs, speed cameras, working traffic lights etc., the whole road infrastructure.
    2 THE CARS: Good system of warrant of fitness, license , proper standards of cars being imported eg, no cars above 10 years allowed etc.
    3. THE DRIVER: Proper training and license for each vehicle type, stiff punishment of those breaking road rules, proper guardianship of learner and restricted drivers etc.
    4. ENFORCERS: Police need to be well staffed, trained, equipped, motivated. System for COMPUTERIZATION/DIGITILIZATION of every number plate and car, every license and…

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