Zambia road safety watchdog concerned about rise in road traffic deaths

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Lusaka, Oct. 22, 2020 (Xinhua/NAN) An organisation that promotes road safety in Zambia on Thursday expressed concern over the rising cases of road traffic deaths recorded in the third quarter of this year.

According to figures released by the police, a total of 483 people died in 7,756 road traffic accidents recorded during the quarter from 434 deaths that occurred during the same period in 2019.

The Zambia Road Safety Trust said the increase in road fatalities was a source of concern which had to be addressed.

“In spite of a precipitous drop in traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people killed in car collisions this year in Zambia is now more than it was at this point in 2019.

This is an alarming 11 per cent rise in fatalities,” Daniel Mwamba, the organisation’s chairperson said.

He said the increase was tragic and unacceptable which required fast action, adding that collective government response shown in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic should be used to address issues of road traffic accidents.

The lessons from the unified, national response to COVID-19 provide real hope for developing a new national road safety strategy which is urgently needed to save lives, he added.

In a statement, police spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo attributed the road traffic accidents recorded in the third quarter of 2020 to, among other things, excessive speeding, misjudging clearance distance and failing to keep to the nearside.

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