Over chief 500 un­li­censed driv­ers nabbed

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By MUKOSELA KASALWE

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.

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