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State ponders road safety in school curriculum

STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga says Government is considering incorporating road safety in the school curriculum in a bid to stop deaths of children in road accidents.
Mr Mukanga said his ministry will engage the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education in this programme to stop the avoidable deaths of children on the roads.
“The PF government recognises that road safety is an important maternal and child health issue. The number of children dying from communicable diseases has reduced because of improved treatment. Sadly, children are increasingly threatened by the prospect of death or injury on the roads. Road death is one of the leading causes of death in this country, behind HIV/AIDS and malaria,” Mr Mukanga said.
The minister said this yesterday when he received a donation of K24,650 from Puma Energy on behalf of the Zambian Road Safety Trust. The donation is meant to promote road safety for children.
Mr Mukanga said children are vulnerable to road mishaps not only in vehicles, but as pedestrians and they are often killed or injured in the simple routine of walking to school.
“I am pleading with all motorists to be alert to the young children and slow down for their sake. The young children may not be fully aware of their surroundings and may not be able to exercise good judgment. Hence, always look out when driving and drive slowly in school zones,” Mr Mukanga said.
He said all drivers should be mindful of children as they drive.
“It is not acceptable for a person to talk on the phone as they drive. The mobile phones have contributed so much to the number of accidents we have had, which are avoidable,” he said.
And chairman of the Zambian Road Safety Trust Daniel Mwamba said over 140 children died last year in road accidents, according to police statistics, and many hundreds were left seriously injured.
Mr Mwamba said road fatalities are among the most devastating deaths faced because they are sudden and often kill the young as well as breadwinners.
“May I call upon other private entities out there to consider how we can continue to build on our partnerships, and do more to shift attitudes and behaviour and culture, to tackle the 2,000 deaths, 5,000 serious injuries that happen every year on Zambian roads,” Mr Mwamba said.


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