The rising number of mini-bus drivers contravening traffic rules such as picking passengers from undesignated points has become a matter of great concern to other motorists and Zambia Police traffic division have been asked to move in.
Some Lusaka bus drivers have complained that the high level of illegal activities was affecting businesses inside the stations around the central business district.
The drivers said law breakers contravening traffic rules such as picking commuters from undesignated places had adversely affected their business. Mr George Mubanga, a bus driver at Lumumba station, explained that some local routes have become unprofitable because of such behavour, adding that in some cases bus fares were ridiculously lowered to entice commuters.
He said drivers in the stations have since resolved to avoid those routes saturated with illegal transporters.
“Because of the uncontrolled contravening of traffic regulations, there is no business for routes like the Chilenje and Chipata/Mandevu where bus fares were being subsidized by law breakers.
“Imagine if the official charges were K4 and the law breakers charged K3 it is automatic people will go for the lower fare instead of the station, thus destroying our business,” he said. He said the routes where contravening was rife were those from highly populated townships like Kabanana-Mandevu and the Kamwala-Chilenje roads.
Mr Mubanga said it was unfortunate that the transport sector has been infiltrated by high levels of illegal practices which the authorities have failed to control.
He said some drivers involved in the act of contravening were not authorized drivers as they did not have valid diving licences.
The Lusaka central business district was covered with illegal buses causing unnecessary congestion as they picked up commuters on the streets instead of the three major bus stations at Kulima Tower, Millennium and the Lusaka City Market respectively. He has called on station managements both private and the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to sit down together and address the matter with the Zambia Police traffic unit.
The drivers have appealed for more policing of the major public service routes to help curb the problem of contravening road traffic regulations.