By SYLVIA MWEETWA –
VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has called for increased checkpoints along the Great North Road to reduce on road traffic accidents.
Dr Scott, who toured the Great North Road and selected ‘black spots’ in Chibombo yesterday, said it was sad that Zambia had continued to lose many lives in road accidents.
He said there was urgent need to find a long-lasting solution to save lives and property.
The Vice-President was accompanied on the tour by Central Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta, Central Province Permanent Secretary Edwige Mutale, District Commissioners and other Government officials.
He said the continued loss of lives was unacceptable and urged the police to ensure that more checkpoints on the highway were set up.
He said it was shocking for him to only find two checkpoints on his way to Chibombo.
Dr Scott said road accidents were exerting huge costs on the country while many productive lives were being lost.
“As I was travelling here I noticed that there were only two checkpoints along the way.
“I think there is need to increase the checkpoints to reduce on accidents,” he said.
Dr Scott later took time to greet traders at John Chinena Market where he explained that Government was concerned with the accidents taking place in the area and would work towards finding a lasting solution.
Mr Mwaliteta said there was need to regulate the movement of public service vehicles.
He said recent studies had indicated that most drivers were fatigued by the time they reached Kabwe, although they opted to continue with their journey.
“I want to state that most of these accidents result from human error and most of them involve drivers coming from the direction of Kabwe and not Lusaka, which is the reason why we need to regulate their movement to save lives,” he said.
Mr Mwaliteta said the Central provincial administration would soon meet with the Zambia Police Service, Road Safety and Transport Agency (RTSA), Road Development Agency and other stakeholders to strategise on how to curb the increased road accidents on the Great North Road.
He said after the meeting, a report would be presented to Vice-President’s office for action.
RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko said plans were underway to install road signs at the ‘black spots’ which would warn motorists at night.
Mr Soko said the agency would continue to partner with the police to reduce accidents in the country.
Among the spots Dr Scott toured included one where five people recently died.