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Whose Job Is It to Keep Our Roads Accident Free – ZRHSG QUESTIONS

The Zambian Roads and Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) has questioned the government on which office or institution is responsible in ensuring that roads and highways are kept accident free.

This came to light after the two recent accidents that happened in Great East Road Lusaka near the University of Zambia UNZA claiming 11 lives and the accident that happened in Northern Province, where 22 United Church of Zambia UCZ members died.

The Zambia Roads and Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) Admin Mthoniswa Banda stated that their Group would like to know which government office is going to be held responsible for the deaths of 11 Zambians on the Great East Road and the deaths of 22 United Church of Zambia (UCZ) members in Northern Province.

“We want to know which government department is tasked with ensuring congestion on our roads is dealt with and traffic is allowed to flow,” Mr Banda stated

Mr Banda noted that their Group wants to identify the office that is paid to ensure that the roads are well maintained and obstacles on the roads are removed.

He added that the ZRHSG members wants to distinguish the Agency that signs off the poor and non-reflective road markings paint which are not visible at night and why the road signage are not up to international standards and cannot be easily read by road users.

“These and many questions bother us whenever we see the increasing number of accidents and fatalities on our roads with no visible corresponding action by the government agencies in charge of fixing our roads and in charge of keeping our roads safe and usable,” Mr Banda mentioned

He cited that the recent accidents that have occurred in Zambia point to a road sector that is badly designed and badly maintained for safe passage and safe usage.

Mr Banda explained that the UNZA accident for example, points to a busy entrance into a University that is placed at a dangerous depression with a zebra crossing that forces fast-moving highway traffic to stop for students that feel they have a right of way.

He added that another place waiting for an accident is the entrance to Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital and Chainama College, as these places require a new lane of their own or a roundabout to be built to allow for traffic to turn without stopping other traffic.

Mr Banda has called on the Government Agencies such as the Road Development Agency (RDA), Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA). and the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) charged with looking after the roads to become more proactive and minimize the chances of accidents occurring through the use of proven methods of keeping the traffic flowing and removing all obstacles on our roads such as humps, right hand turns and pedestrian crossings where there are no traffic lights.

“Let our narrow roads be widened and overtaking lanes built in areas known to be congested or known to be black spots,” Mr Banda said

The Zambian Roads & Highway Safety Group (ZRHSG) is a registered road safety and road health group with over 10,800 members who promote an improved road network and road safety in Zambia.

The Group offers space for sharing personal experiences and knowledge on road safety issues on Zambian roads and Highways, these discussions will help identify road safety issues, bad policies and bad road designs requiring improvement by government and its agencies such as RTSA, RDA, NRFA, ZP and the Local Councils.

Periodically, the ZRHSG will produce a statement summarising the group discussion and sharing this opinion with Road Safety agencies and other policy makers so they improve Zambia’s Road Safety.

The Group also has awareness and capacity building programmes for keeping road users safe and healthy while on the Zambian roads.