Lusaka, Friday, 13th May, 2016. As Zambia go into the political campaign period to elect its leaders, the Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is worried about the breath- taking speed of politicians’ convoy, the lack of respect for other road users, increase in road crashes which have become a permanent feature during the electioneering campaigns across party lines, with its concomitant risks.
This trend, which is unacceptable in a decent society, is mainly caused by over-speeding, overloading and disregard to road traffic rules and regulations in a bid to express euphoria by political leaders, aspirants and supporters. The misdemeanor consequently leaves behind numbers of dead, innocent road users who are paradoxically the electorate.
Zambia Road Safety Trust Chairman, Daniel Mwamba said:
“We caution party stalwarts, aspirants and their supporters against traffic recklessness and urged them to always observe traffic rules while on political campaign trips.We pleaded with them to refrain from covering road signs and markings with campaign posters and banners”.
The Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) should intensify efforts to implement strategies during elections periods, imbibing policies such us the 2007 Accra Declaration on road safety, the Decade of Action, which requires reducing accident rate by half by 2020. The two mandated government agencies should work together to implement aggressive stakeholders’ road safety education, improve enforcement, rescue and advisory capacity that could reduce the rate of road traffic crashes and free pointless traffic obstruction during electioneering campaign period.
The Zambia Road Safety Trust on its part will continue to educate members of political parties and engage them on non-partisan basis to appreciate the need to abide by traffic rules and regulations, bearing in mind that it is only the living that can vote or be voted for. The Trust is currently offering free clinics on road safety education to political leaders./Ends