PASSENGERS that wear seatbelts are more likely to survive a car crush by avoiding frontal thrusts which result in fatal head injuries, says the Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) officer Janet Mwenya.
Ms Mwenya explained that non-wearing of seat-belts at the time of a collision accounted for the majority of fatalities in road traffic accidents.
“Failure to use a seat belt has shown to be a major cause of road traffic accident deaths and injuries among vehicle occupants,” she said.
Ms Mwenya said a survey undertaken by ZRST revealed an alarming non-seatbelt wearing rate of 54 per cent in Lusaka, she said.
In a press statement, Ms Mwenya said her organisation was concerned with the high level of carnage on the roads owing to the lack of adherence to safety practices by drivers and passengers.
She explained that ZRST was now working in collaboration with different government departments including the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Police traffic section to reduce road carnage.
“Zambia has less than 0.02 per cent of the world’s registered vehicles, but almost 14 times the proportion of fatalities from road traffic crashes,
“The seatbelt is the single most effective feature in a vehicle to reduce the severity of injury to vehicle occupants that results from road traffic crashes and can reduce the chances of death or serious injury in a crash by up to 75 per cent,” she said.
And Lusaka Intercity station manager Penjani Chirambo said the move by ZRST was timely to help educate especially the new players in the transport industry on the need to adhere to road safety practices.
Mr Chirambo said the exercise was a timely reminder of the importance of wearing seatbelts on the road as many drivers in the transport sector tended to relax on keeping up with the rules.
“It is very timely especially for new drivers who need to be reminded of the need for seatbelts, but also for all public service drivers who take it for granted that since they are always on the road, they can do away with wearing of seatbelts,” he said
ZRST was at the Intercity bus terminus yesterday to distribute education materials on road safety practices which save lives as well as interact with passengers and bus drivers on the need to wear seatbelts whenever they were available.
The ZRST wanted to create awareness on road safety issues in Zambia and contribute towards reduction in road traffic accidents, injury and loss of life.