Accidents don’t just happen, they are caused!
Published On September 14, 2023 » 780 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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FOUR people, including three teenage pupils have died after a speeding car careered off the road and rammed into them in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill area, while six others died in two other accidents in the Eastern Province.
Such reports make sad reading but unfortunately they have continued occupying much of the media space.
A week rarely goes by without reading a report of one kind of road accident or another, raising questions about the competencies of many of our drivers on the roads.
According to global statistics, road traffic accidents are the eighth leading cause of death worldwide.
More than 1.35 million people die on the world’s roads every year while millions more sustain injuries from these otherwise preventable tragedies.
What is even more worrisome is that road traffic accidents mostly affect the youth, the next generation, thereby impacting the future development of any nation.
For instance, the Lusaka accident took the lives of three pupils aged between 13 and 15 while their colleague of the same age range sustained injuries and was rushed to the University Teaching Hospitals (UTH) for treatment.
Generally, every year, statistics show an ever increasing number of Zambian people reportedly killed through road traffic accidents.
According to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), 1,680 people died in 1, 374 fatal road crashes the country recorded from January to September, 2022.
The figure represented a 10.4 percent increase from 1, 522 deaths which were recorded during the same period the previous year.
Obviously, these statistics were for those accidents which were officially recorded and reported.
That, therefore entails, that there may have been many more which went unreported.
These statistics are disheartening given that the country’s vehicle population is, according to RTSA, under a million on the road out of a human population of about 19 million.
What is even more disheartening is that the alarming figures of lives being claimed in road carnage does not seem to deter road users from driving carelessly or from engaging in acts which create accidents.
RTSA and other relevant authorities have incessantly appealed to road users to be responsible on the roads but unfortunately, these appeals seem to fall on deaf ears as the road carnage continues unabated.
Sadly, most of the accidents are avoidable if only the motorists exercised restraint by following road traffic rules, including the one cardinal rule not to drive drunk.
There is a need for motorists to think of their safety and that of the other driver first when they drive.
While authorities, like RTSA are doing their very best to prevent accidents by mounting patrols and checkpoints, the individual motorists must learn to take responsibility.
They must play a leading role in preventing road traffic accidents by following all the road rules to the letter, instead of courting danger by their conduct which can be fatal not only to themselves and their families, but also to the other road user.

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