Ban on night travel stands, insists minister

Ban on night travel stands, insists minister.

By Thulani Phiri

THERE is no immediate plan to lift the Statutory Instrument banning night travel of public service vehicles, says transport and communications minister Brian Mushimba.

Former information minister Chishimba Kambwili last week warned of civil unrest and serious economic downturn if the PF government did not reverse its decision to ban night travel of public service vehicles.

On November 28, the government, through the Road Transport and Safety Agency, announced Statutory Instrument Number 76 of 2016 banning the movement of public services vehicles from 21:00 hours to 05:00 hours.

But Mushimba, during a Copperbelt post-budget forum, said the decision would not be reversed until another solution to rampant road carnage was found.

“This SI will stand for now, because there is no immediate plan to lift it,” Mushimba said. “The high number of road accidents on the Zambian roads had to do with management of speed limits, PSV, subjecting drivers and vehicles to tests and engineering of the roads. For now, the ministry is analysing ways to reduce road carnage.”

He said 50 per cent of road accidents happened at night, with drivers of public service vehicles causing 68 per cent of the carnage.

“We understood the full impact on the economy and on the business community because of the decision made. My office has received overwhelming feedback on the decision taken and it was receiving attention and currently being studied. But we need to move with it,” said Mushimba, adding that the ministry was working on a master plan policy to run the transport sector for the next 50 years.