By KASONDE KASONDE –
THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has warned motorists caught driving under the influence (DUI) during the festive season that they will have their licences revoked, apart from being hit with the appropriate fines.
RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko said driving while drunk was one of the risk factors that contributed to road traffic accidents that often ended in the death of innocent people.
“This year’s festive period will be different for us as we are focusing on drunk driving and revocation of driver’s licences. Unlicensed drivers and those that permit them to drive their vehicles will equally be penalised,” Mr Soko said.
He said this yesterday when he received six breathalysers and K100,000 from Zambia Breweries and launched the agency’s enforcement and education campaign for 2017-2018 festive season in Lusaka.
Mr Soko said through the road safety department, the agency had been carrying out education and sensitisation of road users on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
He said the agency had also intensified random checks during mobile patrols during which drivers may be breathalysed, targeting not only ordinary motorists but Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers as well.
SABMiller country director Jose Moran said the company was committed to working with RTSA to promote responsible drinking among people.
Mr Moran said the company had embarked on a ‘smart drinking’ campaign that involved teaching clients on responsible consumption of the ZB’s products without abusing them.
And RTSA deputy director safety Gladwell Banda said there was a reduction of road traffic accidents by 11.4 per cent in the period January –September this year as compared to last year where there were 25, 900 accidents and this year 22, 152 were recorded.
Mr Banda said since the Statutory Instrument No 76 was enforced banning heavy duty truck and passenger bus services from the road after 21:00 hrs, there had been a noticeable dip in the number of RTAs on Zambian roads.