By Julia Malunga,
VICE-PRESIDENT Mutale Nalumango says road blocks should be considered again, not as a measure to inconvenience people, but to ensure that there is enforcement of the law on public roads.
Speaking during the burial ceremony of the victims of an accident which occurred last week on the Chingwere Road junction along Great North Road, Vice-President Nalumango said there was need for routine checks on the roads to ensure that people were driving properly.
“Whilst having reduced physical presence, remember there was an outcry of too many road blocks on the road and this has reduced the presence of both the Zambia Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency to conduct scaled up traffic law enforcement. This now should be considered again as something that we should look at so that there is routine check on the road to ensure that our people are driving properly, not to inconvenience the people but to ensure there is enforcement of law on public roads,” she said.
Vice-President Nalamango said government was concerned about the manner in which public transport drivers disregarded traffic rules.
“As government, we are concerned with the manner in which public transport drivers are disregarding traffic rules and regulations with impunity. A situation which has resulted in loss of lives. It is almost daily that we hear of these accidents that we could avoid if due care was taken. I wish to remind public transport drivers of their obligations to safeguard the lives of the travelling public by not over speeding considering the high level of responsibility they assume as they carry masses on board,” she said.
“We wish therefore to caution public transport drivers and operators to comply with the traffic regulations in a bid to avoid people negligently dying from road accidents which could be avoided. As a government, we wish to extend our message of condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured a quick recovery. Let me specifically say the President sends his message of condolences to the bereaved family and to all Zambians because this is a disaster when you lose so many lives.”
Vice-President Nalumango said a dark cloud had been cast over the country by a road accident which could have been avoided.
“A dark cloud has yet again been cast over our country because we have lost our dear ones due to a road traffic accident which would have been otherwise avoided. Investigations conducted by the Road Transport and Safety Agency to establish the cause of the Chingwere turn off road traffic accident in which nine lives have been lost and several sustained serious injuries revealed that the crash was caused by the driver’s negligence and excessive speed.
The deceased are seven adults and two infants. The investigation reports indicate that the accident happened on Saturday evening 9th October, 2021 along the Great North Road. The accident’s investigations have established that the driver of the truck did drive without reasonable due care to other road users by failing to keep to his lane, failed to control the vehicle and was driving at excessive speed in built up area resulting in the loss of lives,” said Vice-President Nalumango.
“The reports have further revealed that circumstances leaving to the road crush indicate that the accident occurred when the driver of the truck who was driving from Northern to Southern direction swerved to the right side lane to avoid colliding with the Hiace bus that had wrongly changed lanes and in the process lost control of the truck.”