Gov­ern­ment to use tech­nol­ogy to pre­vent road traf­fic ac­ci­dents

Zambian Business Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Avail­able data sug­gests that on a daily ba­sis, six lives are lost on Zam­bian roads, 20 peo­ple are se­ri­ously in­jured and 90 crashes are re­ported.

Zam­bian Au­thor­i­ties have ac­knowl­edged that un­der­re­port­ing of road crashes is still ram­pant lead­ing to many vic­tims go­ing with­out as­sis­tance.

Ac­cord­ing to The Zam­bian gov­ern­ment most road traf­fic ac­ci­dents are avoid­able.

“Sta­tis­tics show that 85% of road crashes are caused by hu­man er­ror-re­lated fac­tors such as drunk driv­ing, speed­ing and us­ing a cell phone while driv­ing,” said Min­is­ter in Charge of Trans­port En­gi­neer Brian Mushimba.

An­other ma­jor cause of ac­ci­dents is the lack of pro­vi­sion for pedes­tri­ans and the com­plete lack of knowl­edge of road safety on the part of the av­er­age pedes­trian.

Some vic­tims are pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists. No foot­paths, no safe cross­ings, and chil­dren with nowhere to play but the road. New Roads be­ing con­structed are tak­ing that into ac­count though in Some com­pounds, some roads lack such fea­tures.

To re­spond to calls to re­duce road traf­fic ac­ci­dents in Zam­bia, the Road Safety Man­age­ment sys­tem was re­cently launched by En­gi­neer. Mushimba.

The RSMS aims to broaden Road Trans­port and Safety Agency pres­ence with the es­tab­lish­ment of over 30 ad­di­tional RTSA out­lets which will be fit­ted with mech­a­nised mo­tor ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion equip­ment.

Road traf­fic en­force­ment is ex­pected to be en­hanced, which is crit­i­cal in pro­mot­ing road safety and chang­ing un­safe be­hav­iours on our roads.

RSMS is a Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) struc­ture estab­lished be­tween the Road Trans­port and Safety Agency (RTSA) and In­tel­li­gent Mo­bil­ity So­lu­tions (IMS) as pri­vate sec­tor part­ner.

The Kap­sch Group estab­lished IMS as a Zam­bian-based com­pany to pro­vide in­vest­ment and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in trans­port tech­nolo­gies, the pro­ject will run for the next 17 years be­fore be­ing han­dled over to gov­ern­ment.

The Road Safety Man­age­ment Sys­tem fol­lows an in­te­grated road safety strat­egy, which has six main thrusts which is to deal with.

Ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion and se­cure num­ber plates as the foun­da­tion to best man­age our na­tion’s road safety pro­gramme;

Ve­hi­cle test­ing to en­sure that all ve­hi­cles com­ply with safety re­quire­ments;

Over­load con­trol and weigh-in-mo­tion to pre­vent dam­age to our roads and thus help to make our roads safer;

Cross-bor­der traf­fic man­age­ment to man­age in par­tic­u­lar all the freight ve­hi­cles that tran­sit through Zam­bia from their ori­gin to des­ti­na­tions else­where;

Law en­force­ment to en­sure that all the rules of the road are abided by as a crit­i­cal ele­ment to help re­duce crashes and save lives; and

A Traf­fic Man­age­ment Cen­tre to man­age the over­all process and to fa­cil­i­tate post-crash re­sponse where crashes do oc­cur.”

Zam­bia is a sig­na­tory to the UN Dec­la­ra­tion and has com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing road safety. The Global pro­gramme is built on five pil­lars of road safety man­age­ment, safer roads, safer ve­hi­cles, safer road users and post-crash care.

The Zam­bian Gov­ern­ment must ac­tu­al­ize plans to estab­lish a road ac­ci­dent fund to help ad­dress the chal­lenges road traf­fic vic­tims face e.g. dis­abil­ity and loss of em­ploy­ment. Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Trans­port the cur­rent third party mo­tor ve­hi­cle in­surance scheme does not ef­fec­tively ad­dress the post-crash needs.

Many mo­torists see it as "a form of tax that they would avoid rather than a pro­tec­tion for their lives". Gov­ern­ment is keen on hav­ing a scheme that would fa­cil­i­tate com­pen­sa­tion to vic­tims and meet their fi­nan­cial and med­i­cal re­quire­ments.

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