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Road Safety Crisis Unveiled

The fourth quarter of 2023 witnessed a staggering total of 9549 road traffic accidents, raising significant concerns over road safety in the region. 

According to Mr. Rae Hamoonga, the Police Public Relations Officer, the statistics indicate a worrying increase by 479 accidents compared to the same period in 2022.

Tragically, 446 of these accidents resulted in fatalities, claiming the lives of 515 individuals. Additionally, 905 incidents caused serious injuries to 1585 people, while 1855 accidents led to slight injuries for 2772 individuals. The remaining 6343 accidents were recorded as damage-only incidents.

Lusaka Province took the lead in the unfortunate statistics, recording 5526 accidents, representing a staggering 57.9% of the total incidents. Other notable regions include Copperbelt with 1027 accidents (10.6%), Central with 756 (7.9%), and Southern with 531 (5.5%).

Mr. Hamoonga highlighted a concerning trend in the hours and days accidents occurred, primarily during weekends between 16:00 hours and 23:00 hours. 

The data pointed to a prevalent issue of human error, with factors such as excessive speed, misjudging clearance distance, failing to keep to the nearside, reversing negligently, and cutting in being major contributors.

While the quarter experienced an increase in road traffic accidents, there was a noteworthy reduction in fatal accidents and the number of persons killed. Fatal accidents decreased by 55, and the number of lives lost decreased by 65 compared to the same period in 2022.

Despite this, the overall figures underscore the critical need for enhanced road safety measures and increased compliance by road users. Lusaka Province’s continuous high accident rate emphasizes the urgent requirement for improved traffic management and safety infrastructure to accommodate the growing volume of vehicles in urban areas.

The financial implications of these accidents were also highlighted, with a total amount of K 16,630,857.00 collected as admission of guilty fines in 2022. However, a reduction to K 14,275,988.00 was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023, indicating a decrease of K 2,354,869.00 in fines collected.

As authorities grapple with these challenges, urgent measures are needed to address road safety concerns, enforce compliance, and implement effective traffic management strategies to curb the rising tide of road traffic accidents.

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