Transport and Communications Minister Hon Mutotwe Kafwaya has directed his Permanent Secretary to speed up the constitution of a committee for the implementation of the instructions given by President Edgar Lungu to remove from the roads public passenger vehicles without seat belts.
President Edgar Lungu late last month directed Hon Kafwaya to remove from the road all public service vehicles without seat belts.
President Lungu further urged the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to ensure the law that bans people from traveling at the back of vans and trucks is enforced.
Speaking in Lusaka when he launched the Road Transport and Safety Agency Strategic Plan running from 2019 – 2021, Hon Kafwaya said President Lungu has also requested his ministry to strengthen legislation on the road traffic offenses.
“I have a very important message from His Excellency President Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu that in implementing your strategic plan, you are required to weed off the use of open vans and vehicles without seat belts on our roads as public passenger vehicles,” he said.
“I am pleased to note that RTSA has put in place a plan which will guide its performance from 2019 t0 2021.”
He made it clear that the implementation of this directive will be guided by his ministry.
The Transport and Communications Minister since assured bus owners and drivers that the government will sanitize bus stations and bus stops by ensuring that those elements that extort hard-earned money from drivers are removed permanently.
Speaking at the same event, RTSA Acting Board Chairperson Dr. Cornelius Chipoma said the agency will work with key stakeholders in the transport sector such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, Road Development Agency, National Road Fund Agency, local authorities, research institutions, insurance companies, health professionals, CSOs and local communities to ensure ongoing learning and responsive solutions for public safety.
Dr. Chipoma said this will also minimize recourse to punitive measures including fines and litigation.
“Honourable Minister, your endorsement of the new Strategic Plan will allow the Agency to immediately ramp up implementation for the next three years,” said the RTSA Acting Board Chairperson.