18 July 2014

Zambia: Judiciary, RTSA Ink Fast Track Courts Deal

THE Judiciary and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to roll out the Fast Track courts for traffic offences countrywide.

The MOU will see the Judiciary setting up the fast track courts, which will specifically deal with traffic offences.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at the High Court in Lusaka yesterday, RTSA director Zindaba Soko said the agency sought to reduce the bad road-user behaviour through enforcing the road traffic Act and prosecuting offenders.

"Road safety is nothing to write about in Zambia. 90 per cent of road carnages are as a result of bad road-user behaviour," he said.

Mr Soko said the MOU was a step forward in reducing road carnages because of the deterring effect the courts would bring to would-be offenders.

Judiciary chief administrator Audwin Dzikamunenga said the normal courts took a lot of time to hear cases.

He said the fast track courts were a good answer to hearing traffic offences which he said were on the increase compared to other cases.

"Road traffic offences are less complicated to dispose of. This is a commendable move for both RTSA and the Judiciary to reduce road traffic accidents," he said.

Mr Dzikamunenga added that the Lusaka Fast Track court has proved efficient as it disposed of 30 cases a day and had since convicted more than 2,900 persons since it came into effect.

Meanwhile, RTSA director Zindaba Soko said the only way road traffic offences would reduce is by establishing fast track courts in all the 10 provinces of the country.

Mr Soko also revealed that drunk driving had reduced significantly since the fast track court was established in Lusaka.

"Unlicensed drivers are now topping the list of offenders on our list but drunk driving has reduced significantly," he said.

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