Zambia legislates for low-speed school zones following Foundation-backed campaign
Lower speed limits around Zambian schools and areas with high pedestrian flow have been introduced by the Zambian Government, following prolonged campaigning by the NGO Amend, a long-term FIA Foundation partner, and the Zambia Road Safety Trust.
The measures, which reduce speed limits in school zones and other areas of high pedestrian activity to 30km/h, were brought into lawnaugurated speed limit signage across ten Lusaka schools. The road safety legislation was introduced following a sustained multi-partner advocacy effort over several years including Amend, the Zambia Road Safety Trust, and political figures including the Mayor of Lusaka. A speed limit of 30km/h is internationally recommended for school zones and one of the key actions of the FIA Foundation's Manifesto 2030.
At the legislation launch event at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Minister Hon. Mutotwe Kafwaya said: “The work of the organizations such as Amend, […] and the Zambia Road Safety Trust is so crucial, they are vital partners of government saving lives of people on our roads and I thank them for their involvement in this important cause, and for their dedication in helping government decrease deaths and injuries.
“Children should be able to walk safely. They need the freedom to use the roads for their social development and for going to school. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Last year, over 100 children died and more than 1,500 were seriously injured while walking and cycling, many of them close to their homes.”
The launch of Amend’s interventions around ten schools across the city, supported by FedEx, will see hundreds of children protected further on their journey to school.
The Mayor of Lusaka, His Worship Miles Bwalya Sampa, one of the lead advocates for the legislation, said: “Parents expect their children to return home safely, and they expect that they will be safe during the school day. Furthermore, they expect us - the people who make the legislation - to ensure that the safety of their children is protected. Thirty km/h speed limits in residential streets can make life safer and more pleasant for residents, and 30 km/h limits in town centres can civilize those centres, boosting business and improving safety. It is indeed true that a slower place is often a better place.”
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said: “This new legislation to reduce speeds where children are most at risk is an important step to save lives on Zambia’s roads. It is incredibly important to demonstrate how local interventions by partners like the Zambia Road Safety Trust and Amend can be scaled-up to a national level with the right collaboration and targeted advocacy between stakeholders. Now the challenge is to translate this legal framework into practical delivery, through local advocacy for enforcement and design measures.”