Transport minister Brian Mushimba explains ban on night driving

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Brian Mushimba (L)
Brian Mushimba (L)

Today, I went to ZNBC studios and read the speech to launch Road Safety Week that starts and runs between 11th to 17th December 2016. Shortly after, I hosted the media in my office to talk about the SI 76 of 2016 that I signed into law a few weeks ago which relates to banning of night driving of PSVs between 21hrs and 05am.

I shared with the media that at the time the SI was signed, government was starring in the face of horrific road deaths, one after another, and painful injuries among our citizenry from these unrelenting road accidents.

The people dying on our roads were our mothers, brothers, nieces and so heartbreaking to look at this and just pretend it’s not happening. When we drilled in the statistics further, we found 68% of these accidents that happened at night involved Public Service Vehicles (PSV) travelling during certain hours of the night.

government is considering another SI to move certain percentage of bulk and heavy cargo off our roads and onto our rail

Due to poor visibility at night, fatigue and many times, alcohol abuse by drivers, Government, through my Ministry, felt we had to do something. We therefore restricted driving during the block of time with the most accidents. We did not stop there. We set up a task force to study the SI 76 and its impact on all of us road users as it took effect. We accelerated the process to bring other initiatives and measures to the fore to enhance road safety such as:

1. Fatigue management among drivers
2. Automatic speed limiters on PSVs and use of GPS
3. Alcohol testing among drivers and curbing other distractions while driving such as the use of cell phones
4. Institutionalizing safety programs in-house by owners of PSVs
5. Seat belt laws
6. Establishment of fast track courts countrywide for prosecuting offenders
7. Auditing our driver licence curriculum and road worthiness tests on vehicles
8. Elimination of corruption in driver licensing process and vehicle testing. Only qualified drivers will get licenses and only road worthy vehicles will get to be driven on our roads
9. Stricter enforcement mechanisms by traffic police and RTSA and stiffer punishment.
10. Better engineering, construction and repairs of our roads to include all safety measures
11. Improved road markings and signage countrywide

The measures and initiatives above are at various implementation stages and I wish to categorically state that they will all be seen to their full implementation in order to ensure safety on our roads. By implementing many of these, we may realize that restricting driving at night of PSVs may be over taken by events.

Further, the government is considering another SI to move certain percentage of bulk and heavy cargo off our roads and onto our rail. Both TAZARA and ZRL have been assessed, recapitalized and ready to take on this tonnage. The move will lower transport costs in the country, further improve safety on our roads, lower road maintenance costs, and extend the life of our roads.

I wish to seek your full support as we go through some adjustments and allow for safer roads for all of us especially our children and grand children, the future of this great nation.

God bless you all, God bless the President of this great nation as he blesses the nation.

By:Hon. Brian Mushimba, MP
Minister of Transport and Communication

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57 COMMENTS

  1. Bad as the move may sound but necessary for the sake of life. Losing loved ones who should have not died except neglegence of drivers is heartbreaking. Some of us have lost relatives because of neglegence by either drivers themselves or bus owners. My suggestion could be that drivers should be restricted with the distance they drive not whereby the same driver coming from Livingstone proceeds to Solwezi. God help us.

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    • You can’t make a justification for that.

      The pros outweigh the cons.

      Find means of policing rather resolt to the easier solution.

      Not sure how the man is a minister to start with

      Thanks

      BB2014

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    • The economy of Zambia is doomed, as long as you have men and women running the country are incapable of thinking outside the box.
      To develop a country you need men and women with strong minds.

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    • What is needed is investing in dualcourage ways for great north road from Livingstone to Nakonde as well as Kapiri to Solwezi. Otherwise we shall have twice traffic on the allowed time band and the end results will be what you are trying to avoid.

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    • Another emotional decision. More people die from malaria in a week than from road accident the whole year. Simply enforce the 100km/h speed limit and you have the solution right there. And you do that by suspending licences for any operator who does not follow the rules. If found wanting for the second time, you send them to jail for 6 months – simple.

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  2. These are good measures. If even half of these are implemented, especially #8, we definitely expect a big decline in road carnage that has taken the lives of many productive young people.

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  3. No. 11 Improved road marking and signage…on the copperbelt especially in Kitwe, very few roads are marked. I have always wondered if the govt has been short changing the citizens on this part.

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  4. still few 21hrs is too much,i suggeste 18hrs these psv drivers the way they move after 18hrs so that they may cover a certain distance before 21hrs its really terrible.its not normal to see a truck roaded with petro cruzing betwween 140km to 160 km per hour.

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  5. Honorable Minister should also ban the UPND cult from witchcraft and wizardry practices at night. Kaponya (HH) flies on a broom stick

    Vote Mr Kudos 2016!

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  6. 12. All inported vehicles from TZ must be moved by rail and cleared at KAPIRI. The Town needs some life. People die like flies on Great North road

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    • Good idea. I have always wondered why someone has never advanced this idea. This would be a great incentive to Tazara.

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    • When was the last tym u were on a tazara train? That company’s defunct… Just ask the mining companies why they don’t transport their copper by rail anymore… It’s laughable dat u have suggested tazara.pipo wud lose their vehicles before they even arrived..

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    • RATSA has no control over who drives public service vehicles and the carry almost no responsibility over the safety of the people riding on this vehicles. Here is what Dubai does. No individual is allowed to run a public service vehicle in the state. Individuals can only hire out their vehicles to the Road Transport Authority. The Road Transport Authority( RTA) employs all public service vehicle drivers and maintains all public service vehicles. The RTA determines what type of vehicles can be leased out to them. Owners of the vehicles only receive rental payments from RTA. This also has the effect of formalising PsV jobs.

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    • Please please do you know how useless Tazara is? Try sending your goods through them and see how much will arrive intact!!

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  7. Communication by the minister is great. This is how ministers should work; explaining your decisions and actions to all stakeholders. Consultations would also help your decision making. Keep reviewing the target outcomes.

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    • @* Tusole… agreed and wish the President himself can borrow from this Minister some Leadership and Management skills to run this country in terms of policy implementation and to supervise his Ministers. All he has said is that he needs quarterly reports from his Ministers but he has not said what those reports should contain! So if a Minister says he attended or officiated 20 seminars in a quarter it appears that will suffice for him with no link to adopted targets for the year! Now BEFORE I can GIVE FULL MARKS to MINISTER MUSHIMBA, I would like HIM TO GIVE US TARGETS (TIME FRAMES ) FOR THE MEASURES HE HAS ENUMERATED, then hope to HEAR FROM HIM AFTER 1QUARTER, END OF MARCH NEXT YEAR to REVIEW HOW IMPLEMENTATION WILL FARE AGAINST TARGETS!!

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    • You are just going round in circles. Better training for long and public service vehicles is the way forward.

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  8. @ the General most trucks I have seen only goes up to 120 k/h as the maximum speed of that vehicle. Another thing that government can do is installing electronic speed limiters on PSV vehicles, if a vehicle does not have this then it’s not road worthy. The way they do with imported inspection.

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  9. While you may not agree with the logic, one has to give some credit to the Minister. At least for a change we have a controversial decision being explained, backed by some facts and reassurance that this might be an interim measure as other complimentary solutions are being undertaken. The professionalism of Brian is shining through.

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  10. Please implement 2,3 and 6 immediatley and revoke night driving. it was a saviour for hardworking grassroot businessmen and women who could not afford sleeping in Lusaka.

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  11. HON. MINISTER, U ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS IN THE WRONG PLACES. HAVING DRIVEN ON MANY OF OUR ROADS, I WISH TO GIVE U ADVISE ON WHICH AREAS TO CONCENTRATE IF WE ARE TO REDUCE ACCIDENTS.

    1. BAN USE OF SPOT LIGHTS ON THE ROADS,
    2. WIDEN OUR ROADS (LONG TERM STRATEGY)
    3. WORK ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE CURRENT EXISTING ROADS (SHORT TERM STRATEGY)
    4. CREATE MORE LAY-BY POINTS TO CREATE ROOM FOR VEHICLES THAT BREAKDOWN
    5. VEHICLES THAT BREAKDOWN MUST BE REMOVED FROM MAIN ROAD AT THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME
    6. WORK ON THE MANY RIDGES THAT HAVE FORMED ON OUR ROADS AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME
    7. VEHICLE FITNESS CERTIFICATE MUST BE ISSUED ONLY TO VEHICLES THAT ARE FIT TO BE ON THE ROADS
    8. CHANGE OF APPROACH IN PUNISHING WOULD BE OFFENDERS, E.G. IF VEHICLE IS OVERLOADED, DRIVE SHOULD NOT…

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  12. IF VEHICLE IS OVERLOADED, DRIVE SHOULD NOT ONLY PAY FINE FOR OVERLOADING BUT MUST BE MADE TO OFFLOAD EXCESS LOAD & COME BACK FOR IT LATER.
    9. IN AS MUCH AS WE APPRECIATE DANGOTE’S INVESTMENT IN ZAMBIA, HIS TRUCKS HAVE BECOME A MENACE ON OUR ROADS. ADVISE HIM TO GO INTO A CONTRACT WITH ZAMBIA RAILWAYS.
    10. CREATE MORE OVERTAKING LANES – SAY EVERY 50 KM
    11. RETEST DRIVERS AT THE TIME OF RENEWING DRIVERS LICENSE

    BANNING NIGHT DRIVER WILL NOT HELP OUR DEAD ECONOMY. LETS LOOK AT THE ACTUAL CAUSES OF PROBLEMS. WHEN COMING UP WITH POLICY / OR LEGISLATION, INVOLVE THE ACTUAL POPULATION I.E. DRIVERS AND NOT THE OWNERS OF THESE VEHICLES

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  13. ALSO ADVISE RTSA TO DO MORE OF EDUCATING ON ROAD USERS THAN ALWAYS RUSHING TO DO FAST TRACK COURT WHICH TO ME IS NOT ANYWHERE NEAR THE SOLUTION. RTSA’S MANDATE SHOULD BE MORE OF EDUCATING. GO TO EVELYN HONE AND SEE HOW THOSE STUDENTS CROSS THE ROAD, NO REGARD FOR MOTOR VEHICLES WHATSOEVER. RTSA MUST LEAVE THE COMFORT OF THEIR OFFICES AND GO INTO BUS STATIONS, SCHOOLS, MARKETS TO EDUCATE THE MASSES. YOU DO NOT RUSH INTO PUNISHING PEOPLE BEFORE U EDUCATE THEM

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  14. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AS THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO STOP DRUNK DRIVERS FROM DRIVING US. IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

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  15. The speed of our locomotives leaves a lot to be desired. Let Zambia Railways improve on the locomotives then you can consider to off load certain bulk loads to rail. Banning of night driving of PSV vehicles have affected people who are working in other towns away from their homes.

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  16. Could RATSA or the Hon Minister urgently tell us the designated places for night parking as well as what free services are available at these facilities

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    • Take the initiative to find out by yourself if you feel he hasn’t provided enough information and then educate whoever wants to know. Sometimes, these people need to be followed and juggled a bit. Those are public offices created to serve the citizens. You put them in those offices, now make them work.

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  17. A ban on night driving for buses is very fine.It is a decision with immediate impact and results. I, while alone have tried to drive from Nakonde to Kitwe at night and I can tell you that I have gotten so fatigued that I have had to park to get some sleep. Bus drivers feel the same. It is by God’s grace that we haven’t had more people killed on those buses.
    Since most of the users of these buses are small business people going buy stuff at Tunduma, GRZ should make a decision to keep the Nakonde boarder open 24/7 and ask Tanzanians to run their shops 24/7 so that the Zambian business people can, on arrival at 19.00hrs immediately do their shopping,cross back into Zambia and load their goods on the same bus which departs the next morning. In this way we will achieve both goals of keeping…

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  18. A ban on night driving is the ‘easy way out’ of having failed to implement the list of things you are alluding to now. Most of those are normal things that should have been in place anyway. Some of them are shroud with the ever entrenching matter of corruption in Zambia. Are you going to keep the night ban on going for as long as corruption exists? Sort out the roads,(e.g. dual carriage ways for city to city routes) signs, vehicle road worthiness etc. but I don’t think night driving is the underlying issue. Its a symptom of what is lacking.
    Citing percentages must be done in the overall context. What’s the percentage of fatalities in day accidents? And since you have banned night driving, there will even be more driving in the day. What will be the effect productivity and the…

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  19. When viewed from the point of view of accidents occurring during certain times of the day, the SI may sound good, but when you take a holistic view, it is a step backwards.
    As a frequent traveler between the Copper-belt and Lusaka, the level of congestion along this stretch has actually worsened. What used to be experienced only on Fridays and Sundays has become a daily routine. And its this condition that results in fatigue and eventually decisions made out of frustration. Also, for business men and women, what used to be a days transaction between Copper-belt and Lusaka, not talking about Nakonde, Mansa, Chavuma of Mongu, has now become a 3 days challenge. With very limited capital only our ‘Caring Govt” will comprehend how Zambia’s largest employer – the informal sector shall…

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  20. Not so great for the Minister who is part of the executive to be regurgitating the results of a cheap branstorming session at a lodge. The Minister should be executing or implementing those suggestions after due consideration. The Minister has also ommitted to include the list of suggestions affecting the bus-owners: their attitudes to safety, employment, profitability, discipline, etc, etc. By the way, do passengers have rights and can they enforce them? Zambia is moving towards modernity. Banning night travel is pre- industrial revolution and primitive!

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  21. We have a problem. You only buckle up your safety belt when you see police man. We use the belt to save our lives not to impress the police. We drive at 120km/hr in a 40km/hr zone because we’re driving Mercedes.

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  22. @kudos the skinless skeleton please leave hh alone and let’s concentrate on developmental issues.zinja phropas.
    Good move ba minister

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  23. Good move my minister,we support SI 76 & new ones coming. Please remove heavy cargo as soon as a possible, it will save lives, reduce road maintenance costs & boost business for TAZARA & Zambia Rail ways.Keep it up boss.

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  24. Road worthy vehicles must be allowed to move on our roads, and let to carry passengers. Some of the public busses leaves much to be desired no matter what time of the day they are moving.For example who gives fitness to KAPENA busses? That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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  25. The list is fine. The devil, as they say, is always in the detail. These things have been regurgitated time and time again that they are now tasteless. Go next door (yes, this one will be a good state visit – take your transport minister) to Botswana and see what they are doing to fo.olproof their road experience. Francis Town to Gaborone is slowly getting its dual carriageway make over it is fantastic! Roads are clearly marked, policing is reasonable. You have intervals where you must stop for a check or an animal disease dip for your car and footwear. It is not rocket science, it is not speeches or SIs. It is DOING what is RIGHT!!! DO IT!! JUST DO IT!! Now you can fly, Mr President – to Botswana!

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  26. Many times you have to think for someone in order to save his life . More often than not its the carrless drivers eho survives fatal accidents they cause. Good decision gor now until ee develop asca continent and change in behavior when behind the wheel

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