Zambia Road Safety Trust chairperson Daniel Mwamba says a research conducted by ZRST revealed that 49 percent of drivers and passengers in front seats did not wear seat-belts while on the road. ZAMBIA Road Safety Trust (ZRST) has urged the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Police Service to strengthen seat belt legislation in the country against motor vehicle occupants.
ZRST chairperson Daniel Mwamba told the Lusaka Star in an interview that a research conducted by ZRST revealed that 49 percent of drivers and passengers in front seats did not wear seat-belts while on the road.
“The research conducted by the Trust research unit on 1st July 2014 showed that people who wear seat-belts in Zambia stand at 51 percent. However, this has sharply dropped to 46 percent in the recent past,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He said the research was carried out in Lusaka at two locations simultaneously during peak-hour morning traffic involving 200 vehicles.
Mr. Mwamba added, “From our research, we found out that out of 316 vehicle occupants, only 140 passengers were wearing seat-belts. These are mainly front seat occupants.”
And the ZRST Chairperson noted that such results were worrisome as they showed how unconcerned the Zambian population was with road safety rules.
He said the wearing of safety belts was compulsory noting that it was sad many people were reluctant to obey such rules.
"The results of these findings are of great concern to the Zambia Road Safety Trust. Seat-belts can reduce the chances of death or serious injury in a crash by up to 75 percent. If people won’t buckle up for safety reasons, perhaps the risk of a fine or going to court will convince them," Mr. Mwamba said.
He further said Road Safety Researchers had repeatedly sensitized and demonstrated that wearing safety belts reduced the likelihood of serious injuries and deaths from automobile accidents.
“Seat belt use is the most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Failure to use a seat-belt is a major risking factor for road traffic deaths and injuries among vehicle occupants,” He said.
Mr. Mwamba has since advised Zambians to wear seat belts whenever traveling on the road in order to reduce the chances of getting injured during a collision.