RTSA traffic offence bye-law worries Youth Association

RTSA to fast track prosecution of drunk drivers
RTSA to fast track prosecution of drunk drivers
Zambia Youths Association in the Fight Against Corruption (ZYAFAC) has expressed deep concern and regret on the newly introduced Road Transport and Safety Agency RTSA bye-Law.

ZYAFAC Executive Director Rickson Kanema says the new law fundamentally breaches Human Rights of motorists in Zambia.

Mr Kanema says the new law is not fit for purpose, but merely opens a new conduit for corruption by the officials themselves.

He explains that this is because people found wanting would engage with officials between serving a jail sentence every week until the sentence is served or offer the arresting traffic officer to be paid a huge sum of money in order to be freed.

He says this means corruption will increase defeating the efforts Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has been putting in place to fight corruption.

Mr Kanema also wonders where RTSA is going to imprison offenders on weekends bearing in mind that prisons and police cells are completely congested.

He adds that it is very wrong to criminalize motor vehicle related offences, stating that Motorists are not common criminals but decent members of society who deserve to be treated with respect and decorum.

He says no one believes that it is justice to throw motorists in highly infested police cells which are homes to very dangerous criminals.

Mr Kanema says it is absolutely wrong to impose laws that are derived by incompetence and crisis, stating that it is obvious that RTSA is overwhelmed and over stretched by the increased number of motor vehicles in the country, but that the agency cannot deal with a crisis using another crisis.

He has since recommended that the bye-law be withdrawn for further consultations until such a time when RTSA internal capacities and institutions are built to handle these matters and mechanisms to give offenders an opportunity to appeal in fast track courts are put in place.