RTSA TO SUSPEND BUS OPERATOR, DRIVER FOR DEFYING THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) recorded a fatal road traffic accident yesterday at about 22:29 hours along the Great North Road in Mpika District of Muchinga Province involving a bus in which seven (7) passengers died on the spot while 35 others sustained serious injuries.
The RTSA, the Zambia Police, the Fire Brigade and Paramedics from Chilonga Mission Hospital conducted the accident rescue operation throughout the night and part of this morning to retrieve the trapped bodies.
Preliminary accident investigations have revealed that the accident happened when the driver of the bus, registration number ABE 5433 belonging to Nicpro Trading Limited lost control after hitting a pothole and thereafter plunged into a stream at a place called Kapoko 48 Kilometers South of Mpika. The bus was heading to Lusaka from Nakonde.
The accident investigations have further established that the driver and the operator neglected or failed to ensure that the bus in question was parked at 22:00 hours as indicated by the Global Position System (GPS) report.
The RTSA is of the view that driver and the operator defied the provisions of the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 76 of 2016 and Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 51 of 2021 which restricts the movement of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) at night, thereby putting the lives of the passengers in danger resulting in loss of lives which could have been avoided.
From the foregoing, the Agency has given seven (07) days ultimatum to Nicpro Trading to show cause why the Road Service Licence should not be suspended for violating the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002, a condition upon which the operator’s licence was granted. The Agency has also summoned the driver of the bus to show cause why his Driving Licence should not be revoked for endangering the lives of the passengers.
And RTSA Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gladwell Banda, has described the crash as unfortunate stating that the constant loss of lives is a source of concern and has since warned that the Agency will enforce the provisions of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 in totality to mitigate the recent spike in road crashes.
Mr. Banda has conveyed a message of condolences to the bereaved families and wished the injured passengers a quick recovery.
FREDRICK MUBANGA HEAD-PUBLIC RELATIONS