Zambia needs rapid response to accidents to save lives, says Banda

ZAMBIA needs rapid response to accidents to save lives of victims,” says the Zambia Roads & Highway Safety Group.

The group has called on owners of public service vehicles such as trucks and buses to help sensitise members of the public on how to help their crew in the event of their vehicles catching fire during an accident.

“We are saddened by the sight of powerlessness by the first responders on the accident scene as they watch vehicles, goods and even fellow Zambians trapped in these vehicles burn to ashes,” group administrator Mthoniswa Banda said.

Banda urged the government to investigate the causes of road traffic accidents in the Nyimba area of Great East Road that had resulted in many deaths.

The group noted that the accidents had occurred in the Nyimba area between 70km and 85km west of the Nyimba Boma.

Banda said according to the count based on police and media reports, between May and the first week of December, 2019, 14 lives had been lost in five road traffic accidents on the Nyimba stretch of the Great East Road.

“On 7 December, a driver lost his life and was burnt to ashes in the same area of Nyimba. In May, another truck driver was burnt to ashes in an accident involving two trucks and a bus. In June, three people died, including a couple in a head on collision with a truck while in July in Kasusu area of Nyimba, four people died when a truck they were in overturned. In October, a truck careered off the road and fell into the ditch killing five and injuring one person. A total of 14 people have perished in this stretch alone this year,” Banda stated.

“Our appeal therefore is for the government to take these accidents seriously and summon on site all the road safety and road management agencies to look at all the possible causes of accidents on this new stretch of the road, which we believe has to do with road design, slippery of the road and poor road signage.”

He also noted the poor response rates of the emergency vehicles and lack of first aid skills by first responders lead to many accidents victims dying of lack of attention.

“Zambia needs a rapid response to accidents to save lives of victims,” said Banda.

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