The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is saddened at the increased number of road traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities recorded in the second quarter of 2018 and compared to the same period in 2017. In particular, ZRST has noted a twelve percent increase in the number of fatalities this year compared to 2017 during the same period. From this grim situation, the human cost is profound –unimaginable suffering and grief for families and friends involved.
In a press statement released by the Zambia police today:
“Out of 7,713 road traffic accidents recorded in 2018, 399 were fatal road traffic accidents in which 487 people were killed compared to 432 people killed in the same period in 2017. This shows an increase by 55 persons killed and also an increase in the number of fatal road traffic accidents by 71. 831 were serious road traffic accidents in which 1,471 people were seriously injured compared to 2017 in which 1,353people were seriously injured in 732 road traffic accidents. 2,405 people sustained minor injuries in 1, 573 slight Road traffic accidents compared to 2,067 persons slightly injured in 1,422 slight road traffic accidents recorded in the second quarter of 2017”.
Road crashes are preventable and avoidable, if only we all work together to save lives. Many fatal accidents are caused by speeding drivers and people driving under the influence. ZRST reckons that these reckless road users should be dealt with more severely by government authorities.
Speed is a contributing factor in around most of all fatal road traffic accidents recorded by the police. Straight roads which pass by schools, houses and shops and without road humps but facilitate travel at high speed, place vulnerable road users – especially children are at significant risk.
ZRST also believes that there are three categories of road users requiring targeted urgent attention by enforcement agencies. These are: novice drivers (more likely to have accidents), mini bus and big bus drivers because the cause more serious consequences in an accident, including drivers who do not stop at pedestrian crossings.
All road users have to abide by the rules; everyone has a responsibility, motorists should drive carefully to save lives, pedestrians and passengers should play their part of adhering to road regulations.
Road safety depends on everyone. We believe to succeed; the government has an indispensable duty to engage the public, private, voluntary and community and services organizations. Each has an essential role to play.
Finally the ZRST recommends the Zambia police for regularly informing the nation on the status of road safety in the country.