Zambian’s alarmingly high road toll remains stuck at the levels it was at six years ago says the Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), the nation’s leading NGO for Road Safety. The latest road safety statistics released by the Zambia Police for 2019 displays Zambia will fail to meet agreed on targets set by the UN to reduce road crash fatalities and serious injuries by 50 percent between 2011 and the end of 2020 (Decade of Action).
The statistics show that in the 12 months to 31st December 2019, 1,756 people died on Zambian roads. This is a reduction of only 3.4 percent from the toll of 1,817 deaths in the 12 months of 2018.
Zambia Road Safety Trust Chairman, Daniel Mwamba:
“This analysis is a damning indictment of those who are responsible for road safety in our country and it should serve as a wake-up call to all government departments – the Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Transport & Communications, the Ministry of Health, the Transport, Road Transport & Safety Agency (RTSA), Road Development Agency (RDA) and the rest that their disjointed and disorganized approach to road safety is failing badly. Instead of declining, the road toll has plateaued at a level that makes it clear we cannot meet the UN targets.”
The Police statistics highlight that 5,012 persons were injured and 5,713 were slightly injured in road traffic in 2019.
“We know that there is currently no way to collect national data on the number of people being seriously injured on the roads and those who subsequently, die in hospitals around the country – meaning their annual road fatality figures remain above than the figures collected.
“This failure must not create a perception that road safety problems can’t be solved. Significantly reducing road accidents in Zambia necessitates devoting resources and cooperation between all government offices and bodies involved directly and indirectly. We cannot create real change without the allocation of resources correlating to the number of those killed every year. Drivers should also behave more responsibly on the roads; the human factor is a deciding factor in this war.”
ZRST remains supportive of the government’s to engage and welcome our contribution to road safety – but we shall continue to raise the voice of road safety empirically.