“We need wider footpaths besides we need more public road safety awareness campaigns that target vulnerable road users.”

Lusaka, Friday, 3rd July, 2015. The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) has observed a sharp rise in the number of pedestrians hit by cars in the past two years and want it to stop. In 2014, 816 pedestrians were killed whilst an estimated 13,017 people were injured in traffic crashes according to Zambia Police Traffic information.

The 816 pedestrian fatalities in 2014 represented an increase of 30 percent from 2013, data shows. In 2014, pedestrian deaths accounted for 44 percent of all recorded traffic fatalities. As many as 277 pedestrians were killed in Lusaka alone followed by Copperbelt in which 152 died.

ZRST Chairman, Mr Daniel Mwamba said:

“As the country, we really need long-term planning on how we are going to make the roads better and safe for pedestrians given that the numbers are rapidly increasing. We need wider footpaths besides we need more public road safety awareness campaigns that target vulnerable road users.”

Important Safety Reminders

For Pedestrians:
• Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever one is available.
• If there is no sidewalk or path available, walk facing traffic (on the right side of the road) on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible.
• Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including radios, smart phones and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road environment.
• Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not seeing you).
• Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen (see and be seen).
• Be predictable as a pedestrian. Cross streets at pedestrian crossings or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
• If a pedestrian crossing or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
• Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flash light at night.
• Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.

For Drivers:
• Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Very often pedestrians are not walking where they should be.
• Be especially vigilant for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions, such as night-time or in bad weather.
• Slowdown and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a pedestrian crossing.
• Always stop for pedestrians in pedestrian crossing and stop well back from the pedestrian crossing to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
• Never pass vehicles stopped at a pedestrian crossing. They are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
• Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
• Follow the speed limit, especially around pedestrians.
• Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighbourhoods where there are children present.
– Ends –
Notes for Editors:

A pedestrian is any person on foot, walking, running, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.