FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, 25th March, 2015
Contact: Office of Communications, +26 0953736461

***PRESS RELEASE***

“Zambian Road Safety Trust welcomes Road Transport Safety Agency ‘s Bill to restrict Buses carrying passengers at night”

Lusaka, Zambia – 24th March 2015. The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST ) welcomes the Road Transport Safety Agency ‘s (RTSA) Bill which will restrict passenger-carrying vehicles (PCV) to transport passengers during dark hours.

The Trust is of the view that limiting PCV drivers transporting passengers at night will help ensure our roads are safe for people to use and reduce the many deaths and injuries which happen on the roads each year.

The Trust has noted that a disproportionate number of fatal injuries occur after dark despite fewer traffic on the roads. The most obvious danger of night driving is decreased visibility. The distance a driver can see is shortened and so hazards can often seem to appear out of nowhere. The danger of falling asleep at the wheel is also a significant factor at night.

The Chairman of Zambian Road Safety Trust, Mr. Daniel Mwamba said:
“In most countries were crashes have decreased significantly, there are laws that limit and restrict operational hours for PCV drivers. I believe that it has been long overdue for this law to be enacted in Zambia that will guarantee that most innocent lives are saved.

“I believe that time of day plays an important role in evaluating fatal crashes, in no small part because other dangerous factors are compounded at night. The instances of drunk driving, speeding and driving without a safety belt all significantly increase during the night hours and each contributes directly to increased fatality rates.

“I congratulate RTSA for taking this tough initiative particularly when many innocent lives are lost unnecessary. I also urge our MPs to pass this important law quickly”.

Mr. Mwamba further said:
“Road Traffic crashes kill more than 2,000 people in Zambia each year; they are the number 3 cause of death behind HIV/AIDS and Malaria. Driving is the riskiest thing most people do every day, but since fatal crashes happen in “ones and twos” scattered across Zambia, people do not realize their collective toll– an average of 170 people perish monthly, nationally”.

– Ends –
Notes for Editors:
ZAMBIAN ROAD SAFETY TRUST
The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST), a not for profit organisation, seeks to create awareness on road safety and contribute towards reduction in road traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Zambia, with almost 2,000 deaths in road crashes per year, is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. The trust has a particular role to play in terms of personalising the Road Safety Issue, creating a sense of urgency and generating a demand for safety from the public.

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