The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), the Nation’s leading NGO for Road Safety, welcomes the opening of the Makeni Flyover Bridge, but caution pedestrians against using it as a footpath.
The Makeni Flyover Bridge was commissioned on Monday, 3rd of August 2020 by the republican President Edgar Lungu. Ever since ZRST has received disturbing reports with photos and videos of repeated dangerous risk behaviours involving pedestrians walking and running on the bridge.
ZRST Chairman, Daniel Mwamba said:
“Every life matters, we want to advise all pedestrians to stick to a footpath under the bridge. It makes sense that people need some time to adjust to the new world of flyovers, but using the flyover bridge as a footpath that is dedicated to the motorist is a near-death sentence for anyone”.
Recent road quarterly traffic data published by the Zambia Police has shown some reduction in the number of road accidents and deaths on our roads during Covid19 pandemic, but the burden of road traffic fatalities and injuries still remains high, especially for pedestrians and cyclist. Over fifty per cent of traffic fatalities involve pedestrians and cyclists. Therefore, drastic action is needed to put measures in place to save lives.
Road safety is a shared responsibility, and individual road users have to take responsibility for their behaviour. Drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing the street. They must exercise due care when approaching pedestrian crossings, slow down and be alert to pedestrian movement.
For over the past 5 years, the ZRST has worked closely with the government, corporate world and others to help implement evidence-based solutions. Together we continue to promote the use of car seat-belts, campaign against speeding and drunk driving, redesign school streets to make them safer, and advocate for safer pedestrian and cycle paths.
Through a three-pronged approach of education, engagement and enforcement, we want to continue to support the government to create a culture where safe road use is an instinctive and personal responsibility.
It is important that we all take decisive steps against irresponsible behaviour that puts others at risk. This will be ZRST ongoing effort, and we will need the support of all road users to achieve safer roads.
Road traffic crashes are not “accidents”. They are completely preventable.