No trucks, open vans in campaigns – parties

POLITICAL parties have resolved against ferrying political cadres in trucks and open vans during campaigns and after the August 11 general elections.

They also agreed that political parties shall not use unregistered motor vehicles and false fleet numbers during the campaigns and their supporters would not be allowed to drive in excessive speed.

The resolution was made during a consultative meeting held in Lusaka yesterday by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and political parties on road safety.

And RTSA Chief Executive Director Zindaba Soko said the agency had observed that during campaigns most political party cadres drove their branded vehicles in a manner that put the safety of their passengers and other road users in danger. This was particularly so by ferrying political cadres on trucks and open vans as others sat on top of the vehicles.

Mr. Soko said such acts were being done under the influence of alcohol.

He said some drivers carried bottles of beer in motor vehicles contrary to the Road Traffic Act.

Mr. Soko observed that during this same campaign period drivers violated traffic rules and regulations such as, not giving right of way to other motorists, driving on opposite lanes and over-speeding, which were tantamount to dangerous driving, hence contrary to the Road Traffic Act.

He stated that using motor vehicles without registration marks, obscured registration marks and use of false registration marks was an offence and liable upon conviction.

Mr Soko, however, said the agency would continue to monitor the road safety situation during the campaign period and would not allow it to deteriorate until road traffic crashes were recorded.

He, therefore, said the onus was on all political parties to preach road safety to all its members.

Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly party and Green party refused to sign on the paper that contained resolutions to promote road safety during political campaigns participating in the August 11general elections.

They said they needed to consult before they could sign on the paper.

And ECZ Public relations Manager Cris Akuna said the Commission would adhere to what had been discussed and resolved.

He said it was a concern that all political parties observed traffic rules to avoid loss of lives.

Among the political parties that attended the meeting was UNIP, PF, UPND, NAREP, UPP, FDD, Rainbow, Democratic Assembly and Green party.

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