Lusaka, Sunday, 7th May 2017. Bus companies such as Euro-Africa Bus Services, Kobs Coach Services, CR Holdings, Power Tools, Mazhandu Family Bus Services and many others involved in passenger business should face heavy fines if they are involved in a road accident leading to loss of life or serious injuries.
A research by Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) in the increased number of road accidents crashes in which hundreds of the bus passengers have been killed within a span of one year on Zambia’s roads concludes that bus companies simply put their profits before road safety.
The directors of bus companies are more concerned with their profits than passenger safety or public protection. They should face heavy fines of hundreds of thousands of kwacha for their risking behaviour.
ZRST recommends that companies must be held legally liable even though are having no direct role in driving or operating a heavy vehicle. In addition, corporate entities, directors, partners and managers should be accountable for the actions of people under their control. This will make sure that everyone in the supply chain shares equal responsibility for ensuring road accidents do not occur.
Chairman for ZRST Daniel Mwamba said:
“Bus companies currently face almost no penalties for failing to prevent road accidents and mainly put the blame on their individual drivers or other circumstances. Swift action is taken to replace the bus back on the road, but a “laissez-faire” approach is adopted when it companies to instituting work place road safety measures.
“We recommend that the government consult on a system of escalating sanctions, to include meaningful fines of up to 1 million kwacha for bus companies which fail to prevent road accidents and ultimately kill of injury innocent passengers. The fines extracted should be used to compensate the victims or families of victims.”
Road crashes in Zambia are now the second leading cause of death and the main risk facing health and activity individuals, both young and adults today, of which the government of the day needs to tackle head-on. Its high time passenger transporters come under robust scrutiny, face fines when they injury or kill innocent people.
Notes for Editors:
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 urg