Transport and Communications minister Brian Mushimba has reportedly signed another Statutory Instrument – SI restricting PSV long distance drivers to four hours driving per day, but some bus operators and bus drivers have described the decision as ’emotional and silly’ because the poor state of roads in Zambia is responsible for long journeys in most cases.
According to ZNBC, long distance drivers will be restricted to four hours a day and that Road Transport and Safety Agency – RTSA will put in logging mechanisms to ensure there is adherence. this comes the conclusion of a task force that was constituted to establish lasting solutions to road traffic accidents that had claimed life. Earlier Mushimba had drawn another infamous SI banning night travels and this new one is meant to replace the earlier one.
Under the new SI, the engagement of co-drivers will no longer be entertained and that all public service vehicles will be fitted with GPS to control speed. The restriction also involves truckers who have also expressed concern as some of them carry perishable goods over long distances.
But some operators and drivers who spoke on condition of anonymity said that distances like Lusaka to Mpulungu or Nakonde take an average of 10 hours and if this be the case then it shall mean that it will take three days to cover such distance.
“This is an emotional and silly SI, because there are some distances that take even longer than ten hours especially with this bad state of roads. I think this minister and his government are a serious example of failures and it is time they packed their bags and leave government for serious people,” said a driver running on the Lusaka to Mpulungu route.