The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has not won many friends with its recent implementation of the electronic safety management system that includes speed cameras. The initial reaction ranged from outright condemnation by a public usually reluctant to embrace new developments. Others dismissed it as a mere fundraising measure by RTSA. Few did pay attention to the merits of the Intelligent Mobility Solutions (IMS) spearheaded project that has at its centre increasing road safety and traffic management. No one has cared to point out that the project was signed in August 2017 and unveiled In February 2018.
All along everyone has been complaining about the increased incidence of road traffic accidents.
In 2016 alone 2, 206 lives were lost as a result of road traffic related activities.
How convenient that there should be an outcry about one of the measures that will go some way in reducing road traffic accidents.
The fact that most road traffic accidents have been caused by excessive speed has been overborne over the years.
What better way than to instil, if not halt carelessness on the road, by fear of punishment, independent of the human element, that sometimes does promote corruption? RTSA has placed it on record that the issue of signage which has been raised by some critics will be addressed in working with the Road Development Agency (RDA). We are drawn to a particular line by RTSA Executive Director Zindaba Soko who aptly summed up the motivation behind switching to the electronic surveillance system, “I wish to inform the general public and the concerned motorists that we have a huge problem of crashes coupled with the fatalities and serious injuries as a result of excessive speed. As RTSA we have embarked on a process of managing various bad driver attitude by the use of ICTs and the difference we will have is that this will be electronically monitored. This eliminates the checkpoints undertaken for speed management purposes.”
That just about captures the spirit of the innovation. Perhaps what the public should focus on now is engage RTSA on the element of the fines that have been deemed too high in some quarters.
For instance K300 for fines which could be as many as the offender may be malignant on the day have been deemed too high.
The public could also still engage RTSA on speed zones where they deem the allocation either too high or too low.
Naturally the level of impunity on our roads cannot go on forever as someone has always had to do something about it. It may not have been the RTSA of Soko but surely something was always going to eventually been done about it,
Maybe now the motorists should be acquainting themselves with these three golden rules as captured in The Road Traffic (Speed Limits) Regulation – Statutory Instrument No.90 of 2016 which states that the prescribed speeds are as follows:
1.Within the area of a Local Authority – 40 KM per Hour;
- Built up area outside the Local Authority -60KM per Hour; and
3.In any other part of Zambia (Trunk Roads) 100 and 120 respectively