THE Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is urging every road user to be road smart and help prevent road traffic accidents this festive season.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group notes that many road traffic accidents in Zambia are recorded during the festive season leading to damage to property and loss of valuable lives.
“According to Police and Media reports, records show that in the last three years the festive season has recorded on average 187 road traffic accidents in Zambia leading to 18 deaths. These deaths have left a huge gap in the families and communities where these people came from. One death on our roads is one death too many that we should not be having,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group urges those families that would be traveling out of town to vacation spots to select a competent and well qualified driver to drive the family. They should ensure that they utilise lay byes and other places to take rests during their journey, say every 100km to ensure the driver’s concentration is at 100% throughout the journey.
“Families should ensure every car the family uses is well serviced and roadworthy and that all passengers are buckled up in their seat belts, especially children and women. In the event of an accident most injuries recorded have been from passengers not wearing seat belts,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
“Another group affected by road traffic accidents are pedestrians and cyclists, these record the highest number of injuries and deaths. Pedestrians need to ensure they look left, look right and look left again before crossing the road and ensure that they avoid taking their Christmas excitement into the roads,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
“We also note that there are poor response rates by emergency and medical teams as well as lack of first aid skills by first responders to most accident scenes. This leads to many accidents victims dying of lack of attention. Our hope is that emergency highway teams will be on high alert during the festive season and will be positioned near trouble spots so accidents are quickly dealt with and roads made safe to save lives on our roads,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
The Zambia Roads and Highway Safety Group appeal to road construction companies still working on new roads to ensure all four ways, stop points and dangerous curves are well marked and visible signs placed to warn the traveling public on the dangers of these points.
“The Group therefore appreciates the work that Road Transport and Safety Agency and the Zambia Police have been doing in keeping the roads safe and we urge them to ensure all trouble spots and dangerous areas are well policed, roads marked and drivers guided through these areas to reduce chances of accidents happening,” says Group Admin Mthoniswa Banda.
The Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is an online road safety group with over 2,200 members and is for sharing experiences and knowledge on road safety and defensive driving on Zambian roads and Highways by road users. 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.