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Lusaka seatbelt survey reveals alarming wearing rates

Filed under: Special Comments |

Seatbelt 1The Zambian Road Safety Trust is urging Zambians to buckle up when traveling on the roads. Research done by the Trust research unit on 1st July 2014 revealed an alarming 51% vehicle occupants involving drivers and front seat passengers put on their seatbelts.

The survey carried out by the Trust Research Volunteers showed that occupant most likely to wear a seatbelt in Zambia is the driver at 51% rate. However, the wearing rate drops sharply for other occupants revealing 46% of front seat passengers buckle up. The snap survey did not include passengers on rear seats.
The seatbelt research was carried out in Lusaka at two locations simultaneously during peak-hour morning traffic. A total of 200 vehicles of differing types were surveyed. The total number of vehicle occupants at the two locations was 316.
The wearing of safety belts is compulsory in Zambia for drivers and passengers of motor vehicles occupying seats equipped with such belts.
Seat_belt_BXZambian Road Safety Trust – Board Chairperson, Daniel Mwamba:
“These findings are of great concern to the Zambian Road Safety Trust. Seatbelts can reduce the chances of death or serious injury in a crash by up to 75%. We cannot regard ourselves as a nation that takes road safety seriously until our seatbelt wearing rates reach international norms. I am calling on the Zambia Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to step up enforcement of seatbelt wearing. If people won’t buckle up for safety reasons, perhaps the risk of a fine or going to court will convince them”.
International Road Safety Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that wearing safety belts reduces the likelihood of serious injury or death from automobile accidents. Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Failure to use a seat-belt is a major risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries among vehicle occupants. Passengers not wearing their seat-belts at the time of a collision account for the majority of occupant road traffic fatalities. In addition, passengers who do not wear seat-belts and have a frontal crash are most likely to suffer a head injury.
Although of paramount concern, there is more than just the human suffering associated with non-use of seat-belts. The financial burden of increased death and injury severity can have a major impact on the finances of the government and local communities who are paying for the resources that are required to deal with road crash victims and their families in the aftermath of a crash.
“The Zambian Road Safety Trust will engage corporate partners and the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications to expand and refine the seatbelt research survey into an ongoing programme which will eventually encompass locations across the country, with the survey being conducted on a quarterly basis” said Mr. Mwamba.
Data Summary
Total number of cars surveyed 200
Total number of drivers 200
Number of drivers wearing belts 108 / 54%
Total number of front seat passengers 116
Number of front seat passengers wearing belts 53/ 46%
Total number of occupants 316
Number of occupants wearing belts 161/ 51%

Locations: Burma Road Junction and Lumumba/Mumbwa Road Junction
Time: 07:00hrs – 8:30 hrs
Date: 1st July 2014

1. The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) approach on road safety in Zambia is based on international approved best practice approaches. The Trust was officially launched on 26th April 2014 at the Freedom Statue, New Government Complex, Lusaka . The Guest of honour was Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, MP, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply & Communication. Other speakers at the launch included Ms. Stella Libongani, Inspector General of the Police and His Worship Mr. Tembo, the Deputy Mayor of Lusaka.
2. Zambia, with almost 2000 fatalities in road crashes per year, is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. The recent unprecedented high levels and rates of motorization in Zambia has lead to rapidly escalating road traffic injuries, often resulting in premature death and disability. Zambia has less than 0.02% of the world’s registered vehicles, but almost 14 times the proportion of fatalities from road traffic crashes. These injuries occur predominantly to vulnerable road users and economically active males.
3. Global Figures
– 1.3 million road deaths occur every year
– More than 50 million people are seriously injured every year
– There are 3,500 deaths a day or 150 every hour, and nearly three people get killed on the road every minute
– The number of traffic fatalities will rise by 67 percent over the period of 2000-2020, 68 percent in the Middle East and North African region and 144 percent in Southeast Asia- Middle and low-income countries to see an increase in traffic deaths of 83 percent by 2020
– The UN goal is to halve the number of road victims by 2020
– $3 trillion (USD) is the cost of road crashes every year


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