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MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN ZAMBIA

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS 

IN ZAMBIA

14TH APRIL, 2016 

 

MR. SPEAKER 

It is with a heavy heart that I take the floor to address this August House on this subject matter. The country has in the recent past experienced tragic road traffic accidents involving public service vehicles in which many lives have been lost. You will recall that on 4th April, 2016 a Higer Mazhandu Bus registration number ALP 5119 travelling from Chililabombwe to Lusaka lost control on the great north road near green leaf area where six passengers died and fifty one people were injured. Yet again, on 9th April, 2016, a more fatal accident involving a Wada Chovu Marcopolo Bus registration number AJB 6340 and a Mercedes Benz Sprinter, registration Number ACZ 4829, collided and twenty five people died and while 34 people were severely injured. These accidents, though a few days apart occurred within a stretch of five Kilometers of each other between Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi. 

MR. SPEAKER 

The picture depicted in the foregoing paragraph has become a common phenomenon on our roads. Comparatively, in 2004, 13,005 accidents were recorded where from 892 fatalities resulted. In 2015, the number of road accidents recorded was increase to 33,672 from which 2,113 people lost their lives. 

MR SPEAKER 

I will lay down statistical matrix on the table of the house containing information on the number of accidents, fatalities vehicle population from 2004 ton20015 as recorded by the Road Traffic and Safety Agency and Zambia Police. 

MR. SPEAKER 

It is very untortuncte that most of the recorded road traffic accidents in the country are attributed to human conduct which includes: 

(a) misjudging clearance distance or speed; 

(b) excessive speed; 

(c) failing to keep to near side; 

(d) cutting in; 

(e) reversing negligently; 

(f) overtaking improperly; 

(g) inexperienced drivers; 

(h) other errors of judgment; 

(i) turning right without due care; 

(j) failing to obey traffic lights; 

(k) turning left without due care; 

(I) in-attentiveness; 

(m) stopping abruptly; 

(n) under influence of alcohol/drugs; 

(0) turning around inside the road; 

(p) negligently opening vehicle doors; 

(q) sleeping while driving; 

(r) flash lighting; 

(s) failing to signal; and 

(t) skidding; 

Mr. SPEAKER 

Other causes of road crashes are attributed to poor road condition coupled with inadequate road safety infrastructure, poor vehicle condition resulting mechanical failures and severe weather conditions. 

MR. SPEAKER 

In order to reverse this upward trend in road crashes and thus address the resulting road traffic fatalities, Government is desirous to strengthen; traffic law enforcement; scale up road safety education/awareness campaigns and actively improve road safety re- engineering at identified black spots. 

MR. SPEAKER 

I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to state that Government will soon introduce a Drivers' Data Base where all incidents and events pertaining to respective individual drivers shall be recorded and when appropriate sanctions meted on bad drivers. From now onwards, the use of breathlysers on motorists randomly will be intensified on all roads, check points and toll gate locations. Members of the general public are encouraged to call RTSA and Zambia Police toll free lines to report bad driver behavior. 

MR SPEAKER 

Government will fit all public service vehicles will Global Positioning Tracking Systems (GPS) to monitor driver behaviour on all routes country wide; In addition, all drivers are warned that vehicle tyres have a specified life span from the time of manufacture. Therefore, drivers are advised to look out for expiry dates when purchasing tyres. 

MR. SPEAKER 

The issue of safety transcends national boundaries and Zambia has joined hands with the international community and is a signatory to the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety which runs from 2011 to 2020. The Decade of Action on Road Safety has five (5) pillars namely: Road Safety Management; Safer Roads and Mobility; Safer vehicles; Safer Road Users; and Post Crash Care. In order to operationalize the UN Decade of Action, the Ministry of Transport and communications has signed a Memorandum of understanding on Road Safety with eight other Ministries and Agencies and flagged off strategies and activities on road safety to create an environment for a more effective and holistic management approach of road safety in Zambia. The stakeholders meet quarterly to review progress on the various commitments. 

MR. SPEAKER 

The main objective of the Decade of Action for Road Safety is to reduce road traffic accidents by 50% by the year 2020. Under the Declaration, Government is strengthening law enforcement, road safety inspections, road safety audits and has introduced the fast tract courts. Under this initiative, the driver training manual, syllabus and motor vehicle examination manual have been revised. This has also been done in line with the SADC protocol on Transport. 

MR. SPEAKER 

I wish to inform this August House that the Ministry has concluded the proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act no. 11 of 2002 and a Bill has been submitted to Cabinet. It is envisaged that the Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the current session of Parliament. Some of the proposed amendments are intended to raise the road safety profile of the Country as highlighted below: 

a) Mandatory requirement to conduct road safety audits; 

b) Mandatory review and authorisation of the Agency on all road and rood related infrastructure development undertaken by the Road Development Agency and the Local Road Authorities; 

c) Obligatory test certificate for all vehicles including any motor vehicles or trailers owned by the Government; 

d) Introduce a probationary license to be issued to learner drivers for two years before the issuance of a licence to allow for the learner driver to gain experience. Conditions such as driving with an L-Plate and minimum distances to be covered in the two years will also be introduced through regulations; and 

e) Mandatory requirement to display the valid insurance certificate disc. This will ensure that all vehicles on the road have mandatory Third Party insurance cover. There will also be an additional requirement for insurance cover for PSV drivers on the application by a transport operator for a Road Service Licence. Currently, PSV drivers are excluded from cover under the Third Party insurance cover. 

I thank you. 

Table 1: Number of accidents in relation to number of Vehicle population  

 

Year

No. of Regd.

No. of

No. of

Rate of accidents

 

Rate of fatalities

 

Vehicles.

Accidents

fatalities

per 10,000 vehicles

 

per '10,000 vehicles

2004

111,460

13,005

892

1,167

 

80

2005

140,225

14,075

869

1,004

 

62

2006

183,701

19,095

1,176

1,039

 

64

2007

227,950

21.690

1,277

952

 

56

2008

277,865

19.727

1.238

710

 

45

2009

300,736

22,978

1,413

764

 

47

2010

328,732

20,582

1,388

626

 

42

2011

 

 

 

 

,

 

 

381.948

22,570

1670

591

44

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

452,574

28,247

2360

624

 

52

2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

534,532

29.118

1851

545

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

i

 

2014

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

605,635

32,392

1858

535

31

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

621.250

7782

465

125

 

7

Source: RTSA and Zambia Police