THE Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) has blamed Road Development Agency (RDA) for the death of MUVI TV journalist Priscilla Phakati for their negligence of not implementing sufficient safety measures and initiatives in all road construction zones.
ZRST chairman Daniel Mwamba said Ms Phakati and three visiting German doctors from who died in a road traffic accident when the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a construction vehicle in Sinazongwe, Southern Province.
Three German Doctors Franz Mathews, 67, Wolfgufkart Bissbeif, 64, Hans Boehringer, 55 and Ms Phakati were going to a rural health centre where they were scheduled to attend and help the local people with dental problems when they met their fate.
Mr Mwamba said the accident should be wake-up call that road construction zones and construction vehicles presented a deadly hazard to motorists.
“Appropriate safety measures are absolutely imperative around all construction; or maintenance zones. When someone is hurt or killed, families are impacted; we cannot afford to lose more lives. Road death is the number killer in Zambia for all health and productive people” Mr Mwamba said. Mr Mwamba said his organisation was worried with the safety of road users and workers around road construction zones. He explained that ZRST was deeply concerned about lack of adequate safety on construction works going on along Chilimbulu and Burma Roads in Lusaka by the Chinese contractors.
He urged Road Development Agency (RDA) to make its own assessment before other people were injured.
“The long stretches of under construction and widespread traffic congestion are a recipe for extreme driving hazards for motorists and road workers alike,” he said.
Mr Mwamba said RDA should ensure that construction or maintenance zones had road signs in advance to warn motorists that road work was being done
He said the agency should also provide national awareness campaigns to convey the message that out on road, orange-clad workers and orange cones mean “slow down”,
Mr Mwamba proposed that RDA must implement tough penalties on constructors who did not provide enough safety around the construction sites.
He said RDA must also encourage drivers to follow traffic rules while going through through construction zones across the country.
Mr Mwamba suggested that the RDA must also enforce tough traffic penalties on drivers to encourage them to slow down and avoid the potentially deadly consequences of reckless driving through work zones.