THE Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is urging the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to stick to their mandate and prioritise road safety and public awareness instead of revenue collection.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group was shocked to read a statement quoting the Acting RTSA boss Gladwell Banda that said RTSA had collected over K986 million in the period January to October 2019 and was pledging to be the lead agency in the collection of non-tax revenue.
“The core functions of RTSA as stipulated in the Road Traffic Act part 4 does not say RTSA should be a lead revenue collection agency of the Government. The Act stipulates that RTSA should implement policy on road transport, traffic management and road safety. The Act also states that RTSA should conduct road safety education, coordinate road safety programmes and approve road safety programmes undertaken outside RTSA activities,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
The Zambia Road & Highway Safety Group also notes that RTSA even collected more money than the Zambia National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) which has over 21 toll gates across the country but only collected K800 million.
“The Zambian motorist is heavily taxed as a tax payer and is subjected to many payments and taxes just to have his /her vehicle on the road. Once the vehicle is on the road there are faced with many road blocks, check points, speed cameras and toll gates all designed to make money out of the traveling motorist,” says Group Admin Mr. Mthoniswa Banda.
Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group feels It’s immoral for RTSA to even set targets of revenue collection while setting traps for motorists. RTSA should concentrate on implementing best road user practice other than aiming to raise income.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group is confident that once RTSA embarks on road safety public awareness and educates erring motorists on safety and best ways to observe traffic rules, there will be less accidents and less fines to motorist that are greatly reducing their pleasure to drive on the Zambian roads.
“Our hope is that driving on the Zambian roads will return to be the safest pleasure that it was and that RTSA officers will help traffic to smoothly flow from one point of the country to another without hustles,” says Mthoniswa Banda.