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PRESS STATEMENT ON RECENT ROAD CRASHES.

REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

PRESS STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE BRIAN MUSHIMBA, MP MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

ON RECENT ROAD CRASHES.

5TH OCTOBER 2016 

 

MEMBERS OF THE PRESS FROM VARIOUS MEDIA HOUSES;

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS;

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN;

GOOD MORNING;

LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE NATION ON THE ROAD CRASHES THAT HAVE RESULTED IN HIGH FATALITIES DURING THE LAST FOUR MONTHS.

FROM THE ONSET I WISH TO INDICATE THAT GOVERNMENT IS SADDENED BY THE DEATH OF 9 PEOPLE IN THE ROAD CRASH THAT OCCURRED NEAR BALUBA AREA OPPOSITE COPPERSTONE UNIVERSITY IN KITWE ON SUNDAY EVENING OF 2ND OCTOBER, 2016. THIS ROAD CRASH INVOLVED A GREY TOYOTA REGIUS REGISTRATION NUMBER AOB 2937 DRIVEN BY AN UNLICENSED DRIVER.  ON BEHALF OF GOVERNMENT, I WISH TO CONVEY MY HEART FELT CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS OF THIS TRAGIC ACCIDENT. MAY THE SOULS OF OUR DEPARTED LOVED ONES REST IN ETERNAL PEACE. 

COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN,

THE NUMBER OF LIVES LOST IN THE ROAD CRASHES RECORDED IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS IS FORTY-SEVEN (47). THIS TAKES INTO ACCOUNT FATAL ACCIDENTS OF:

•25TH SEPTEMBER 2016 ON GREAT EAST ROAD, UNZA AREA OF LUSAKA INVOLVING TWO PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLES, REGISTRATION NUMBER ALJ 2989 AND AIB 1049 BOTH TOYOTA HIACES WHERE  2 PEOPLE DIED. THE CAUSE OF ACCIDENT WAS EXCESSIVE SPEED; 

•16TH SEPTEMBER, 2016, IN SERENJE ON GREAT NORTH ROAD INVOLVING A SCANIA BUS REGISTRATION NUMBER ACR6315 WHERE 22 PEOPLE DIED, INCLUDING 3 RTSA OFFICERS WHILST ON RESCUE DUTY FOR THE SAME. THE CAUSE OF ACCIDENT WAS EXCESSIVE SPEED;

•7TH AUGUST 2016, IN MAZABUKA, INVOLVING A FRONT LINER TRUCK ALE 7884 WHERE 6 PEOPLE DIED. THE CAUSE OF ACCIDENT WAS EXCESSIVE SPEED; AND

•4TH AUGUST2016, IN KAPIRI MPOSHI, INVOLVING A TRUCK AND A TOYOTA ALTERZA WHERE 8 PEOPLE DIED. THE CAUSE OF ACCIDENT WAS EXCESSIVE SPEED AND DANGEROUS DRIVING.

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

ALL THESE CRASHES WERE ACTUALLY AVOIDABLE, ONLY IF THE DRIVERS HAD OBSERVED THE ROAD TRAFFIC RULES AND REGULATIONS. 

I WISH TO REITERATE THAT GOVERNMENT HAS PROVIDED THE RELEVANT LEGISLATION, RULES AND REGULATIONS TO GOVERN OUR ROAD TRANSPORT SUBSECTOR BUT UNFORTUNATELY, OUR ROAD USERS ARE FAILING US DUE TO THEIR DELIBERATE DISREGARD AND AVOIDANCE OF THE PROVISIONS.

FOR INSTANCE, TAKING THE RECENT KITWE ROAD CRASH, I AM RELIABLY INFORMED THAT THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE LOST CONTROL DUE TO EXCESSIVE SPEED, THE DRIVER WAS UNDER AGE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLE DRIVING, HE WAS UNLICENSED AND WORSE STILL THE VEHICLE WAS OVERLOADED WITH THIRTEEN (13) PASSENGERS ON BOARD WHEN THE SEATING CAPACITY FOR THE TYPE OF VEHICLE IS SEVEN (7). FURTHERMORE, THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REGISTERED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLE (PSV).

FOR THIS CASE, AND ALL THE OTHERS ROAD CRASHES MENTIONED EARLIER, I WISH TO CALL UPON THE ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY AGENCY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO SERIOUSLY CARRY OUT AN INTROSPECTIVE AUDIT OF THEIR OPERATIONS AND STAFF AND TO PUT IIN PLACE MEASURES THAT WILL STOP THE UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR ON OUR ROADS.  

HAD WE APPROPRIATELY SCHOOLED, TESTED, LICENSED THE DRIVER WHO CAUSED THE ACCIDENT WHERE WE LOST 9 LIVES IN KITWE, OR HAD WE NOT COMPROMISED ON OUR ENFORCEMENT MANDATE, THOSE LIVES WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN LOST TODAY. THE SAME ARGUMENT GOES FOR THE 18TH JUNE 2016 HILLCREST BUS REGISTRATION NUMBER AJC 5110 ACCIDENT IN CHOMA, WHERE 7 PEOPLE DIED INCLUDING 5 PUPILS DUE TO DRUNK DRIVING AND EXCESSIVE SPEEDING BY THE DRIVER. 

COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN

THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. WE KNOW WHERE THESE ROAD CRASHES ARE PREVALENTLY OCCURRING AND THEIR COMMON CAUSES. WE ALSO KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO REDUCE ROAD CRASHES. I AM THEREFORE CALLING FOR RADICAL ACTION BY OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO STOP THESE FATAL ROAD CRASHES ON OUR ROADS.

I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT I WILL SOON BE SIGNING 18 STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS TO ENHANCE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ENFORCEMENT, PROMOTE GOOD ROAD USER BEHAVIOR, PROMOTE MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY, PROHIBIT NIGHT DRIVING OF PSV VEHICLES AND PROVIDE FOR MONITORING EXCESSIVE SPEEDING OF VEHICLES ON OUR ROADS.

I AM ALSO DIRECTING THE ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY AGENCY TO INTENSIFY ENFORCEMENT ON ROAD SAFETY AND GOOD ROAD USER BEHAVIOR WITH ZERO TOLERANCE ON OVER-SPEEDING, DRUNK DRIVING AND  UNLICENSED DRIVING. A COMPROMISE BY THE AGENCY ON THESE ISSUES IS TANTAMOUNT TO AUTHORIZING THE MASS ROAD CRASH FATALITIES.  GOVERNMENT WILL NOT SIDE WITH OR SUPPORT INCOMPETENCE OR FAILURE TO PERFORM LEGISLATED MANDATES BY THE ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY AGENCY. 

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

AS WE PREPARE THE 2017 BUDGET, WE WILL ENSURE ISSUES OF ROAD SAFETY, TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND ENFORCEMENT ARE ADEQUATELY CONSIDERED IN THE BUDGET TO SAVE LIVES OF OUR PEOPLE.  

I SEEK YOUR SUPPORT.

 

THANK YOU. 

HON. BRIAN MUSHIMBA MP                       

MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS