Sampa warns truck drivers

Matero Member of Parliament Miles Sampa says all illegally parked trucks in his Constituency will be impounded and drivers arrested after today’s deadline.

And a number of truck drivers in Matero got a rude shock on Monday following the decision by the police to bar them from parking their vehicles at their police stations.

Some drivers interviewed said that they were surprised by police decision to stop overnight parking at the police posts in their efforts to reduce road traffic accidents on community roads.

But Sampa said an alternative place has been secured at the Matero Stadium where the drivers would be allowed free parking for a month until a system of payment was devised.

“We are moving in with full force.  All wrongly  parked vehicles will be clumped. Time for talking is finished, they have been warned and we will move in like rain,” Sampa said.

He explained that the industrial area had become hazardous for motorists and other members of the public as a result of wrong parking.

“But this is not only for the industrial area, but for the entire Constituency including those areas known for trucks that block community roads and service stations.

“We have noticed some drivers park at Oddy’s/Melisa area so that they can go for a drink in Emmasdale area, we are saying no trucks will be allowed to park carelessly,” he said.

The ban comes into effect today after the exhaustion of the 10 days grace period issued by Sampa to stop all illegal  parking by trucks especially in Buyantanshi Road outside the Lusaka oil reservoir in the heavy industrial area.

There were public complaints about the dangers of parking highly flammable fuel carriers in undesignated places like road sides where they affect other motorists’ safety.

Sampa said truck drivers should be more creative and find alternative parking areas with consideration of locations outside the central business area like in Lusaka West until when they need to be at the reservoirs.

“Other drivers can find safer places to park than alongside busy community roads and should be held responsible if anything bad that could happen.  We have acquired big clumps,” Sampa said.

Some drivers complained that while it was dangerous to park heavy duty vehicles any how, police stations were conveniently located for easy access.

“Police stations are located at open areas which give enough space for parking trucks and other vehicles, because there was not enough truck in facilities in Lusaka.

Maybe they should begin by introducing truck parking facilities before coming up with such action like stopping us from parking at the police, now were do they expect us to go,” Brian Kangwa said.

Kangwa, an inter-town local transporter said the move was a great inconvenience for him and many truck drivers who would be expected to find other places to park especially if they arrived at awkward hours from their business trips.

He said it was impossible to find an open parking facility after 2200hrs which would force him to sleep in the vehicle as a security move.

“We are sure that even if we arrived during late hours from our trips, there is a police post or station to park, but with this it means we have to look for alternative places which are too far and transport costs are involved,” he said.

He wondered why smaller vehicles were allowed for overnight parking at the police, without any restrictions but it was illegal for the trucks and yet the incident risks were the same.