Over chief 500 unlicensed drivers nabbed
MORE than 500 unlicensed drivers have been nabbed since the inception of speed cameras on the roads, says Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) chief executive officer, Zindaba Soko. Mr Soko said once the reregistration of vehicles was concluded the cameras would in addition to detecting speed, verify non-payment of road tax, road worthiness of vehicles, overtaking on a curve or on a straight line. He said there was so much resistance and outcry against the speed cameras because the human element had been done away with which was a catalyst for corruption and bribes to law enforcement officers. The RTSA CEO said this on Friday evening at a public discussion organised by the Media Freedom Front injunction with the Daily Nation newspaper under the theme ‘Speed cameras, are they necessary? Is Zambia ready for this?’ Mr Soko said Zambia should have installed surveillance cameras on the roads 10 years ago because many lives had been lost through road fatalities. ‘‘The challenge has been that we have not moved at the correct speed with the technological advancement in the transport sector, and that is why in my preamble I said we should have been ready 10 years ago, actually we are very behind,’’ he said. He said road fatalities had claimed several lives of bread winners and that it had a ripple effect on the socio-economic situation of the nation. Mr Soko said the agency had impounded 12 vehicles which had personalised number plates such as Boss one and Commando which were not registered. He said those with personalised number plates were supposed to pay about K 5,200 adding those that were not even registered with RTSA were allegedly being used for criminal activities. And speaking at the same event, Bus Operators chairperson Ishmael Kankara, said he was not opposed to speed cameras but that he opposed to the way they were placed and the exorbitant fines. Commuters Rights Association of Zambia (CRAZ) president Aaron Kamuti said there was so much resistance to the cameras because stakeholders felt it was daylight robbery.