THE Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is urging the Zambia Roads Development Agency (RDA) and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to quickly ensure all trunk roads and busy roads are properly marked with reflective road marking materials to prevent road accidents during this rainy season.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group notes that most reported road traffic accidents in Zambia are caused by drivers failing to keep to their lane because of these roads are not marked or the markings were done with substandard non-reflective paints.
“Most of the major roads leaving Lusaka such as Great North Road, Kafue Road, Great East Road and the Mumbwa Road all pose a risk to the driving public. They are among the 1000 ways to die in Zambia. If all cars kept to their lanes, there surely cannot be road collisions,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
Some accidents especially those that happen at night are because of poor visibility of the road due to inadequate roads markings or use of non-reflective marking materials. Others are caused by drivers who drive at full beam because they want to see the unmarked roads thereby blinding others because of the poor visibility of these trunk roads and highways.
“Driving in most roads especially at night or when it’s raining Zambia becomes a risky undertaking. Not only is visibility hampered by the weather but the roads themselves have no reflectors. The roads look like black holes. They have no reflective markings and signage to guide the driver in their driving,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group has noted that apart from a few roads in the country such as the newly built Solwezi- Chingola Road, Luangwa-Chipata Road and Mansa-Luwingu Road which have light reflective markings, most roads in Zambia are not fit for night travel or driving.
A group member posted “Quiet true. They should stop this business of water paint on road markings and speed humps, these are endangering lives at night. Most of these new roads do not have markings. Proper reflective PVC markings should be used, it is a bit costly but it’s a one off and it saves a lot of lives and cars.”
Another posted “Problem is RDA and RTSA have adopted low standards in ensuring roads are marked there by allowing most of these road constructors o get away with a poorly marked road.
Another posted “So all these RDA, RTSA, NRFA need to be reminded all the time, why can’t they be pro-active? Everyone knows the rain season is here and those markings faded a long time ago. With all these monies being collected at toll gates there is not excuse to have roads un marked or improperly marked. Proper lines and new signage need to be drawn on all these completed new roads.
Another member advised “I would like to see some consistence in the road markings and signage. Regardless of which direction one takes, be it North, East, South or West, you have to guess where your lane begins and ends. Government should ensure our safety through consistent road markings and signage all roads and not selected sections of the road.”
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group is confident that once all roads are marked and signage improved with reflective materials, driving during day and night in Zambia will produce less accidents and deaths.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is an online group with over 1,500 members and is for sharing experiences and knowledge on road safety and defensive driving on Zambian roads and Highways by both professional drivers, car owners and the majority road users as passengers or pedestrians. These discussions will help identify road safety issues, bad policies and bad road designs requiring improvement by government and its agencies such as RTSA, RDA, NRFA, ZP and local councils.
Every week, the ZRHSG will produce a statement summarising the group discussion and sharing this opinion with Road Safety agencies and other policy makers so they improve Zambia’s Road Safety.