Excessive speed and general lack of due care by motorists on roads are major contributing factors to the death toll in the country, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has said.
RTSA Chief Executive Officer, Amon Mweemba, revealed that so far this year, 390 lives had been lost in the first quarter and 525 in the second quarter giving a total of 915.
Addressing a media briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday, Mweemba said the country had recorded a number of tragic accidents involving public service vehicle operators.
He said few of these accidents had tragically resulted in death and injury.
“The majority of these accidents were as a result of speed and just plain careless and dangerous driving and this resulted in us at the RTSA paying special attention and focusing on the public transport sector,” Mweemba said.
He said this had resulted in the Agency suspending the Road Service Licence (RSL) for one of the bus operators, Likili Motorways which had recorded two fatal road traffic accidents this year resulting in deaths of some passengers.
“Specifically, on July 2, 2023, one of their buses and a Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) passenger train were involved in a crash at a level crossing on the M1 road between Mpika and Kasama in which 8 people died,” Mweemba said.
He said following this road crash, another bus belonging to the same operator was involved in another fatal road crash on July 28, 2023 on the T2 road between Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi in which 5 passengers died.
Mweemba said the Agency suspended the Road Service Licence belonging to Likili Motorways Limited on August 7, 2023.
He said the reasons for the suspension was that Likili Motorways lacked practical fleet safety management (FSM) culture among management and employees.
Mweemba said Likili Motorways lacked appropriate driver competency management system to assess drivers during recruitment and post-recruitment periodical risk assessments.
“The operator’s usage of the GPS tracking system for Speed and Location since 2018 was mainly for capturing compliance with Road Traffic Regulations and data capturing without data analysis and corrective measures for road traffic violations by the drivers,” he said.
Mweemba said documents and reports reviewed by the RTSA investigators, revealed the need for the operator to strengthen driving hours monitoring to curb driver fatigue.
He added that Likili Motorways needed to strengthen the procedure for vehicle roadworthiness management and the need to take appropriate measures to improve risk assessment of daily trips and periodical driver competence assessments.
“The RTSA has also communicated with other operators through the Bus and Taxi Owners Association of Zambia (BTOAZ) on the need for the operators to embrace a culture of fleet safety management practically by taking corrective action of the road safety incidents reported to avoid repeated behaviour,” Mweemba said.
The Agency, he said, had also informed BTOAZ that FSM would be a prerequisite to obtain RSL for both first-time applicants and renewals going forward.
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