THE spate of road accidents seen on Zambian roads is increasingly attributed to the abuse of Benylin by PSV drivers, who imbibe the cough mixture in place of the banned Tujilijili alcohol satchets so as to get high.
Statistics indicate that most accidents happen when these drivers are high on alcohol.
Alcohol detectors – breathalysers currently in use by the Roads Traffic (RTSA) and Safety Agency are ineffective when culprits intoxicated with Benylin take tests. Despite this, there is need for RTSA to be particularly mindful of how Benylin-induced road carnage problems can be resolved.
I think resolving deep-seated road carnage is rarely an easy task. The recent collaboration between RTSA and DEC to get rid of Benylin abuse by mini-bus drivers has been long-overdue. Herein lies the challenge.
By all accounts, getting supplies of the medication over the pharmacist’s counter without a prescription and then finding a market to sell the contraband takes some organisation and co-ordination.
So what is to be done? Joint highway patrols need to be put together as soon as possible.
But one of the biggest challenges would be ensuring the field officers are equipped to act.
Anti-doping techniques are essential too. So far, the sporting fraternity in Zambia has adopted them.
Failure to act could have significant implications. Road carnage due to Benylin abuse could lead to a shortage of skilled manpower, threaten human capacity building and deprive government of the much-needed personal tax revenues.
All these are crucial to Zambia’s economic growth and social development.