Zambian School of Driving (ZSD) president Hope Khumalo has advised motorists to hold government accountable for the K1.4 million speed fines deposited in an unauthorised bank account.

And Khumalo has advised government to tighten the system for obtaining driver’s licences instead of using their inexperience to embezzle public funds.

In an interview with News Diggers! Saturday, Khumalo said preventive measures should be put in place to reduce accidents instead of government raising funds from bad driving.

“Stopping to pay for speed fines is [too] extreme. I think we have invested in the program as a country. For me, I think it is the way that it was introduced that raised eyebrows. But if the government has already invested, I don’t think it is a good idea to ban the payment but rather to hold accountable. The problem is that we are not holding the wrongdoers accountable. The government should take a step to assure us that we have found the money and the culprits are being punished and tell us who the culprits are and what punishment they will get so that we also send warning signals to other public officers who think they might also get away with embezzling government funds. It is very frustrating for the general citizenry to be supporting government’s initiatives and then the government is not talking the program seriously and they are embezzling funds at the cost of the citizens who are going through economic hardships,” Khumalo said.

He also said there was porousness in the way drivers were obtaining licenses in the country as most drivers were unaware of the consequences of bad driving.

“We have always talked about how it is very important that we should look for accident reduction programmes that address the problem of road traffic accidents from the way that drivers are oriented to drive…and sustain programmes like speed cameras. I think we have really gone through a lot. We have seen what havoc was created with the speed cameras in the way they were introduced; they were being hidden. When you introduce accident preventive measures like speed cameras, your main objective should be to reduce accidents and not raise funds. It goes to show that there is lack of genuineness in some of the leadership that we have in public offices. When you have leaders and technocrats that [are] not genuine, the programmes that you introduce will backfire to your face or they will not achieve the intended objective,” said Khumalo.

“I think what will reduce accidents without putting in much money and control measures will just be to improve the way drivers are trained in Zambia. There is a lot of porousness in the way people are trained and obtain licenses. Yes, the programs of speed traps are good but look at the effort it takes just to monitor the process. You will lose it along the way. But when you have a programme where you are making the citizens accountable and make them commit to a code of safety, that is what other countries are doing and all these programs are done using the structures that are already existing without any addition of exorbitant costs that at the end of the day fail to start producing results and you start failing to track where your resources are going. It really is saddening. Believe it or not, some people do not know the consequences of their bad driving.”