Minister proposes ban on perpetual traffic rules breakers

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Northern Province Minister Gerry Chanda has called on government to pass legislations that will allow traffic rules enforcers to backlist transport operators who were perpetually in conflict with the traffic regulations on the Zambia roads.

Colonel Chanda noted that the current traffic rules which only allow officers to punish and fine law breakers were not tough enough to act as deterrent to offenders and would-be offenders.

He said the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication should facilitate for the passing of the law that will make some
transport operators whose vehicles have killed people in accidents to be completely banned from operating on the Zambian roads.

Col. Chanda said government should find ways of protecting lives of innocent citizens who may die as a result of non adherence to traffic rules by both passenger buses and vehicles that carry cargo.

He was speaking when Transport and Communication Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda and the joint operations team comprising officers from Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) and Road Development Agency (RDA) paid a courtesy call on him.

He also proposed that government should consider looking for technological measures of curbing accidents such as installing gadgets that can track vehicles that contravene traffic rues so that they are firmly dealt with.

He said countries such as China and others have such technology which can help reduce the growing number of accidents especially on the Great North Road.

Col. Chanda commended the Deputy Minister of Transport for his personal commitment to serving lives on the road by physically being part of the inspection teams that were conducting road blocks and check points countrywide.

And Col. Kaunda observed that punishing drivers alone was not helping curb accidents in the country.

He said operators who own vehicles that often get involved in accident should also be punished.

He said the team will now be meting out punishments and fines on operators of the passenger vehicles and tracks for allowing unfit vehicles on road.

Col. Kaunda said operators should feel the punishment which is given to drivers who were merely instructed to drive.

He also observed that most drivers cause accidents on the roads because of fatigue as they do not get enough rest.

He said there was therefore need to sensitize transport company owners to allow their drivers to rest before embarking on another trip.

Col. Kaunda has since called on all road users to enforce traffic rules together with the agencies and the ministries responsible.

Col. Kaunda and his team have since proceeded to Mbala district where he called on the District Dommissioner Best Kabulembe to help enforce traffic rules.

The joint operations team has since started mounting roadblocks and check points in Mbala and will tomorrow proceed to Mpulungu and finish their operations in Northern Province with Kasama.

During the motorize operations from Kasama to Mbala today, it was been discovered that most operators of both passenger vehicles and tracks overload their vehicles while others drive on the road with either photocopied drivers’ licenses or without licenses at all.

And a handful of traffic rules violators have been impounded and charged for various offences such as carrying passengers on tractors and on loaded tracks, driving without proper documentations and sign triangles and for over speeding.