Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) Chief Executive Officer Zindaba Soko says approximately 2,000 people die in road accidents on average every year in Zambia.
And Soko says all goods vehicle operators who wish to operate at night should apply to the agency for scrutiny.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka today, Soko said road accidents still claim many lives despite the agency putting in place measures put improve road safety.
“Road traffic accidents have continued to be the leading challenged for the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) despite the many interventions we are putting in place in an effort to improve the country’s road safety profile. Statistics that we are recording are of great concern not only to the agency but the country at large,” Soko said.
“Road traffic crashes kill approximately 2,000 people on average every year in Zambia and injure or disable more. The agency has recorded a reduction of 20 percent in road traffic crashes from January to September 2017, compared to the same period last year.”
And Soko said not all transporters of goods will be allowed to operate at night, as RTSA will only grant passage to the fright operators who will meet the set conditions.
“Just to explain that as much as SI 76 has been revised and I think now it has gone for gazetting, until the gazette period is over then it comes into effect. Definitely when you look at that particular SI, there is a clause where actually all operators of fright or goods vehicles will have to meet certain conditions that are set out by ourselves as RTSA. One of these conditions is the work place road safety policy. In this work place road safety policy, there are also conditions that have to do with the fitting of the global positioning system or GPS, there issues to do with driver tagging that will be able to control issues to do with driver fatigue and driver hours,” Soko said.
“Further to that, we have trucks that will be now moving in the night. What that means is that passengers will now be trying to hike those trucks so that they can go to their points of destination. Having such a scenario, we have already analysed the situation and we will be able to enforce that these trucks do not carry passengers because they were not meant to carry passengers. And what we are saying is that there will be a zero tolerance. RTSA will be left with no option but to revoke such a license and prevent them from killing people.”
Meanwhile Soko said government has been denied the much needed revenue and taxes from pirate transporters.
“other areas we intend to go after are illegal passenger and goods operators commonly known as pirates. As we are aware these have continued to deny government the much needed revenue in taxes as well as giving the registered operators unfair competition,” he said.
At the same event, the agency received a contribution of K100 000 and six breathalysers worth about 60,000 Rands from the Zambia Breweries company for the purposes of drink driving testing.