ZNBC Rooftop producer died due to lack of safety-Readers Digest

Entertainment Features Op-Ed

…RTSA must be dismantled; it has become a revenue collector

By Joe Zulu (Personal View)
The news on the death of ZNBC Rooftop film maker indeed makes a sad reading.

I recall many months ago a picture of a cameraman standing on the rooftop of ZNBC outside broadcasting truck was posted on this very site.

Few bloggers and I commented on the safety aspect. The dude was up there without any safety attachments and not even railings around him despite him being at a height above two meters from the ground.

Had someone taken note of the concerns then maybe just maybe we wouldn’t have lost that precious life.

This brings me to the issue of Road Transport and Safety Agency. I do not understand what the S stands for as far as RTSA is concerned. RTSA has become more of ZRA (revenue collectors for the Government) than traffic safety officers or road traffic accident prevention officers.

It is high time RTSA was dismantled into two separate entities, the Licensing and vehicle registration as one institution and then Road Safety Agency purely for safety on our roads.

You cannot have a broken down truck in the middle of the road on a highway for that matter last for four to five days in such a dangerous position. That’s a highest order of negligence from the so called RTSA.

Driving from Chingola to Lusaka you find half the highway has no road markings. In few stretches were there are markings, the lines have faded such that one can hardly see the markings.

But we are busy contracting Lamise for traffic surveillance chakuti overlooking the basic fundamental and principles of road safety.

Forget about Road Development Agency. RTSA can take up that challenge, we have a lot of indigenous Zambian companies capable of undertaking road markings and signs from Zambezi to Mosi-o- Tunya and Lusaka to Chipata and Kasama..

Due to lack of formal employment opportunities, youths have taken up the initiative of selling merchandise on busy roads.

I observed that except for a few…especially those selling talk time, do wear high-vis vests, the majority have none.

I propose RTSA must come up with an SI to compel any vendor and individual doing any business on our busy roads which has over 50km/hr speed limit, to have a high-vis on.

We have to start from somewhere if we have to bring sanity on our roads. I witnessed a near miss at Mandahill cross junction involving a vendor. Thanks to the driver who was very alert.

With these road rehabs going on, we need to be proactive as far as road safety is concerned.

Black spots which may require speed retarders or humps must be identified and implemented now and not after a loss of life.