INSPECTOR General of Police Francis Kabonde has directed all commanding officers with their subordinates to intensify both foot and motorised patrols especially in crime-prone areas to ensure safety of citizens during the Easter period.

Kabonde said during this period, criminals had in the past taken advantage of such public excitement and rob innocent people of their hard-earned property and money.

He also warned criminals to let all abiding citizens to celebrate Easter holidays without being interfered with their lives and property.
He said the police were ready to meet the criminals in case they did not heed to this warning.

"We expect this Easter holiday to be a crime-free period. Motorists, you are advised not to drink as you drive and please observe traffic rules and regulations to avoid road carnage and loss of life," he said. "My command further instructs all traffic police officers to ensure that only strategic roadblocks are mounted in order not to inconvenience members of the public."

Kabonde advised all members of the public not to indulge in activities that may border on endangering their lives such as excessive beer drinking and unnecessary movements.

Kabonde said it had been a trend during this period for some people to be over excited and involve themselves in activities that tend to put their lives at risk.

And Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) principal publicity officer Mercy Khozi Mwila advised road users to take extra caution on the roads during this year's busy Easter period.

She said the agency was concerned with the already high number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) that had been recorded so far.

Mwila said RTSA was particularly appealing to all motorists to seriously consider issues of driving under the influence of alcohol, overspeeding and the use of mobile phones while driving and fatigue as important road safety concerns, which had been ranked as top causes of road traffic accidents leading to the loss of innocent lives.

"Whilst festive periods are intended for celebrations, the RTSA is concerned that the conduct of some road users during such periods contributes to unsafe roads and places the lives of travelers whether pedestrians or cyclists at risk," she said. "The Easter holiday in particular call for Christians values of patience, caring and loving to be upheld. In this same spirit, the RTSA therefore implores all road users to become responsible for their own behaviour on the road as this had direct implications on their safety and that of other road users."

She said RTSA would this weekend institute intensified highway patrols to help curb bad road user behaviour especially in the area of drink-driving and overspeeding.

Mwila said the road safety call centre would be open 24 hours to receive calls from all road users.