Bus operator praises night travel ban

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 08:38:46 +0000

By Andrea Mukoma

SHALOM Bus Services Southern Region Manager Bimaele Phiri has hailed Government for having banned night driving for all public service vehicles (PSVs), stating that the action would reduce accidents and save lives.

And Mr Phiri has accused some private operators of having taken advantage of Government’s decision to ban night movements for all PSV by cashing in on unsuspecting passengers.

According to Mr. Phiri, some unscrupulous individuals have turned their private vehicles into passenger vehicles and are transporting passengers who wish to travel in the night.

“What we have observed is that there are people who have taken advantage of the ban on night driving by turning their Toyota Noah buses and other vehicles into passenger fleets and were transporting  passengers who want to travel in the night for various reasons,” Mr Phiri said.

He said the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) should be alert as some people had converted their Noah cars into passenger vehicles and were transporting people to various destinations in the night.

Mr Phiri said the unscrupulous drivers were putting the lives of passengers at risk because the Noah vehicles were not meant to be used as a public service vehicle.

“We have noticed that there are some Noah Buses and other vehicles that come through at the bus station to pick up people who are stranded and desperately want to travel. This is also happening along the route up to Mazabuka,” he said.

Mr Phiri appealed to RATSA and the Zambia Police to come up with measures that would prevent unregulated vehicles from carrying passengers.

Mr. Phiri said that that while such people claimed that they did not offer stage-carriage services, which refer to pick-up points along the route, Shalom Bus Service in Southern Region had received reports of commuters being picked up at different points including at the main bus station.

He said that contrary to what other stakeholders were saying, the decision by Government should be supported as it was aimed at reducing road carnage.

“At first, we thought the decision was ill-timed but then we have come to appreciate it. From the time Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 76 of 2016 was signed by the minister, we noticed that a number of accidents involving buses and trucks on our roads has reduced,” he said.

He said passengers and business men and women would have to adjust their travel schedule, stating that he was happy that travellers using buses had adjusted accordingly.


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