ZRST wants speed camera programme regulated

Filed under: Special Comments |
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The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) is urging government to set out clear rules defining how cameras should be signed, making sure that all speed camera sites must also be conspicuous and visible before the implementation of the speed camera programme.

ZRST is deeply concerned about the controversial debate in the media about speed cameras, which can have detrimental effect on road safety and also welcomes the Road Transport and Safety Agency Director and the Minister of Transport and Communications call for a review.

ZRST would like to reaffirm that speed cameras have long been a contentious subject for motorists. Supporters highlight figures that point to their road safety benefits – in reducing both speeds and accidents – while opponents claim that the figures are not clear cut and that the presence of cameras on the roads can have a negative impact on safety and can also be a money making venture for government.

ZRST Chairman Mr. Daniel Mwamba said:

Drivers should be aware that the objective of the speed camera programme is to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by reducing the level and severity of speeding. The aim of speed cameras is preventing, detecting and enforcing speed, including encouraging changed driver behavior.Breaking any speed limit is an offence, and it is the driver’s responsibility to be aware of the limits.

The ZRST urges for the speed camera programme that should be based on visible speed enforcement, ensuring maximum opportunity for drivers to keep to speed limits. For example cameras should not be obscured, e.g. by trees, bushes or signs, they must be visible from 40m away in 40km/h or less zones and 100m for all other speed limit zones, camera sites must be reviewed regularly (at least every six months) in order to ensure that cameras are adequately visible and signed.

And there must be clear criteria and rules for new sites covering the site’s accident history, together with requirements on the site length, the levels of speeding, and the need to ensure that a camera is the best solution. Before they are deployed, it should be ascertained whether there are other measures that can be taken beforehand to improve safety (e.g. improving road layout, anti-skid surfacing, improved visibility). Speed cameras should be installed at sites where there has been a high level of accidents over a short period of time.

As part of their operational case, government should demonstrate that they have developed communications plans with the media to increase the understanding and awareness of the speed camera programme, to help change driver behavior related to excessive speeding and demonstrate the role speed cameras play in preventing road traffic accidents, injuries and deaths.

Speed cameras are an extremely successful element of an integrated speed management strategy, and studies have consistently shown that deaths and serious injuries have been reduced by over a third at speed camera sites. Rather than ‘punishing motorists’, speed cameras may instead save the lives of motorists and other road users.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31