Chairman of the Zambia Road Safety TrustDaniel Mwamba
Chairman of the Zambia Road Safety Trust Daniel Mwamba

The Zambia Road Safety Trust says there is need for a new mindset to improve the transportation infrastructure used by pedestrians and cyclists in Zambia to address fatalities on the roads.

Pedestrian and cycling fatalities remain a major concern for road safety in the country. Road crash fatality data reveals that approximately 70 % of road deaths in Zambia are pedestrian and cyclists.

According to the WHO, most low and middle income countries experience high pedestrian and cyclists’ deaths. But the severity of the problem in Zambia is deep and requires immediate action.

Trust Chairman Daniel Mwamba says the priority in Zambia now should be to save lives of pedestrians and cyclists- through several established measurers such as the implementation of car-free pedestrian zones, clearly marked zebra crossings, footpaths on both sides of all streets, pedestrian and cycle traffic lights, intersection modifications, cycle streets, cycle lanes and cycle paths in order to save lives.

Mr. Mwamba said other measures required to enhance pedestrian include raised and extra wide with highly visible striping, usually with, special overhead illumination and sometimes with flashing yellow lights to alert motorists, pedestrian-activated crossing signals, both at intersections and at mid-block zebra crossings, pedestrian refuge islands for crossing wide streets and wide, well-lit footpaths, often furnished with benches for resting

He however said that these measures require a mindset shift for Zambia’s current city planning.

Mr. Mwamba noted with regret that few Zambian motorists bother to stop for pedestrians waiting to enter zebra crossings without traffic signals.

He said Zambian enforcement agencies have focused their subsidies, regulations, and planning efforts on the safety of motorists, even if walking and cycling account for a big percentage of trips in Zambia.

Mr. Mwamba said the real problem in Zambia is not lack of solutions, but political will in the face of a major pandemic affecting mostly innocent pedestrians and cyclists to protect them.

“Attitudes must change. The Zambian public must be educated about the severity of the pedestrian and cyclist crash problem and the urgent need to deal with it. The safety issue must be brought home. The neglect of no motorist safety not only risks the injury and death of family and friends who walk and cycle, but it also deprives everyone of valuable exercise, mobility options, independence, and even fun”, he added.

He said it is important to package and market safety-enhancing policies in a way that dramatizes their benefits to everyone.

Mr. Mwamba said instead of being viewed as punitive measures aimed against motorists, they should be presented as new opportunities for all segments of the population.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Its very sad state that people who do no drive especially kids are killed as pedestrians. Given these facts, I hope that the government will act quickly. Thanks Mr. Mwamba for the information.

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  2. The problem is attitude by motorists.People who own/drive think they own the roads and have total disregard for pedestrians and cyclists.In most European countries pedestrians are more important and motorists are mindful of punitive measures once they violate the pedestrian/cyclist rights.

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  3. The outstanding statement in this observation is that there is …..”lack of Political Will”. Everything starts and stops with Politians in Zambia. When they say jump, you ask how high.

    In the early days after independece of Zambia, road safety was paramount. A mobile Zambia Information Services cinema van then, used to go round into villages and schools showing road safely documentary films. We learnt to cross the road with caution when we were educated by ZIS to “Look left, look right and look left again before crossing the road”

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  4. Road safety education is dead. Its just the commercial side of things that seems to be ticking from those who are supposed to be championing road safety education.

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  5. Sounds good but for as long long as motorists continue driving on road shoulders with impunity, cyclists and pedestrians will continue dying while RTSA is just watching.

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  6. Good job for starting this important topic. I cycle and drive and whenever I cycle, what I notice is most drivers of cars would 1) Ignore your presence, 2) Hoot for you to get off the road ( as though you are not a road user!), 3) Cut in / join at junction when you have right of way and expect you to stop because ” they are bigger and stronger” etc. More awareness of a cyclist’s rights needs to be made. Also, many cyclists use non-roadworthy bicycles – worn tyres, no brakes , no bell and EVEN no lights / reflector vest when riding at night!
    Sometimes i wish the traffic police can mount roadblock at night to flush out these dangers. Once , whilst walking on the right side of the road in the evening, I was hit by a cyclist FROM BEHIND ( fortunately!). Also, pedestrians, which side of…

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