Lusaka, Wednesday, 27th December 2017: The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is disappointed at the increased number of road crashes related deaths during this Christmas period compared to 2016 despite the annual Christmas drink driving crackdown.

Figures released yesterday (Tuesday) by the Zambia Police show that from 22nd December, 2017 at 18 00 hours to 26th December, 2017 at 06 00 hours, the country recorded 234 Road Traffic accidents out of which 18 were fatal Road Traffic accidents in which 22 people died, 32 were serious Road Traffic Accidents in which 52 people were seriously injured.

Compared to the same period last year- 2016 from 23rd December, 2016 at 18 00 hours to 27th December, 2016 at 06 00 hours, the country recorded 201 accidents out of which 15 were fatal Road Traffic accidents in which 20 people died, 12 were serious Road Traffic Accidents in which 34 people were seriously injured.

Mailos Mwale, ZRST’s senior communications advisor, said:

“Regrettably, it has once again been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that road safety is not a light switch that can be turned on an off. We have said it before many times, and we will continue saying it, not enough is being done to stop the carnage on our roads. Year-in and year-out we are being given statistics that either stay marginally similar to the previous years’ figures, or, sadly, are increasing. And, while much is being said about how accidents have reduced by 20 percent this year compared to 2016, it appears these efforts are at best slow to materialise, at worst ineffective.
“Too often the police officers are targeting motorists for expired licence discs, which, quite frankly, is never going to lead to a reduction of road deaths. These officers need to be deployed on the roads, monitoring moving violations, such as reckless and negligent driving. The issue of corruption among police traffic officers need to be quickly addressed, and it needs to start now.

“One of the first steps needed now is for the Ministry of Transport, the RTSA, the Police and all stakeholders involved in road safety, including the ZRST, to begin looking at how this situation can be turned around. Unless proper implementable plans are formulated, and put in motion now, we fear a repeat of these, and last year’s numbers is inevitable.”

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.