Lusaka, Sunday, 4th June 2017: The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) welcomes the suspension of the Bus Operator licence for Kapena Bus Company by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). This follows the horror incident which happened on Tuesday, 23 May killing 19 people leaving 48 others injured.

According to RTSA, Kapena Bus Company failed to ensure that the bus in question was fit to carry passengers and defied the provisions of the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 76 of 2016 which restricts the movement of Public Service Vehicles (PSV) at night.

ZRST communication advisor, Mailos Mwale said:

“The ZRST recommends swift tough action which RTSA has carried out on Kapena Bus Company which acts as a deterrent measure to other operators who are routinely putting the public at risk. Along with this, we would support any efforts to improve the effectiveness of the punishments against these operators. Especially, mount frequent road-side inspection checkpoints and carry out random visits at premises, looking for operators and drivers who are operating illegally before we lose lives”.

The number of road deaths on Zambian roads increased from 2,113 in 2015 to 2,206 in 2016 representing an increase of 4%. The impact of a lack of road safety on people’s lives, or the human toll, is immeasurable. The real tragedy is that these deaths are largely preventable.

Much research concludes that fleet or company drivers have an increased crash risk relative to that of privately registered vehicle drivers. The private sector should think serious about the safety of its customers and appreciate the massive financial, legal, reputational, and social implications road traffic crashes have on corporate entities. They can make a significant impact on the safety of our roads, if they adopt workplace road safety policies.

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Notes for Editors:
About ZRST

Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), a not for profit organisation, that seeks to create awareness on road safety and contribute towards reduction in road traffic injuries and fatalities. Zambia, with over 2100 deaths in road crashes per year and 30 fatalities per 100,000 residents, is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. The Zambia Road Safety Trust has a particular role to play in terms of personalising the Road Safety Issue (advocacy), creating a sense of urgency and generating a demand for safety from the public.