Traffic cops’ conduct should change
Published On September 27, 2017 » 2516 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Opinion
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YESTERDAY’S incident in Ndola where traffic police officers are said to have caused the death of a vendor after they allegedly chased a motorist who ended up hitting the innocent teenage vendor is not only shameful but also unfortunate.
It is now a common occurrence for police traffic officers to be involved in dangerous incidents where they risk their own lives, those of motorists and innocent pedestrians.
This situation has been left unchecked for years and if the status quo remains a worse calamity is bound to happen sooner than later because the latest incident almost caused a riot.
In the Ndola incident police were in pursuit of a motorist on Matelo road until he turned on Makoli Avenue and because of fear he hit a teenager who was selling fritters and eggs on the road side.
According to witnesses the driver of the Toyota Elgrand bus only identified as Mike failed to negotiate a curve and dragged the teenager to the ZESCO substation fence before the car landed in a ditch and the body of the boy was thrown close to the substation.
At the site of the injured body of the boy, the public got incensed and turned their anger on police officers and the two traffic police officers who were at the scene trying to apprehend the suspect and retrieve the body were beaten by the  mob who blamed the accident on their lack of professionalism.
The two police officers were only rescued by a good Samaritan who drove them away from the scene before the mob could inflict more injuries on them.
For close to an hour people lit fires and blocked the road in protest of the incident and the police officers who rushed to the scene were stoned until reinforcement was called which dispersed the crowd using teargas canisters.
The riots which spread to other parts of the town forced business to come to a standstill as most shops remained closed for almost two hours.
Copperbelt police commissioner Charity Katanga said that the accident happened after the driver of the Toyota Elgrand bus registration number ACP 3927 identified as Mike, a car washer took the car without permission.
Ms Katanga said Mike who was accompanied by his colleague identified as Benson Lunda was driving at excessive speed and failed to negotiate a curve and hit the deceased who suffered a ripped stomach and fractured legs and died on the spot.
This whole incident falls on the shoulders of the police who need to put their house in order because from the time they were stopped from mounting road blocks they have devised more dangerous measures.
First they go to check on traffic using personal vehicles so that they cannot be easily identified and when they suddenly appear on the road they force motorists to flee.
It is actually the individual conduct of some officers that raises concern because in most cases all they want is to just arrest motorists even when their mere presence on the roads instills discipline.
There is completely no reason for police traffic officers to operate in hiding when they can easily move on the roads while checking the behaviour of motorists to avoid loss of property and lives when chasing any erring driver.
Moreover, like in other countries the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has introduced a toll free line on which any erring motorist can be booked as long as the motor vehicle’s registration number is reported.
It is the behaviour of some officers that should change or else calls for the abolishment of the section believed to be the most corrupt with continue mounting.

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