The National Government’s decision to establish a Road Traffic Authority (RTA) is an excellent move to commence change in land transport regulation and administration. Making the new look road traffic laws work is a mammoth task bestowed on the RTA. Nevertheless, establishing RTA to be fully functional and operational through appropriate resourcing and empowerment is an even bigger challenge.
Many of the enabling factors for RTA’s establishment come under other jurisdictions. It has taken three years since the passing of the Road Traffic Act to fulfil only some of the establishment requirements. This clearly calls for concerted effort from stakeholders such as Department of Treasury, Department of Finance and Department of Personnel Management to get RTA off the ground.
The future of RTA looks promising. RTA has a full board comprising of senior and experienced individuals where the representation is from both the public and private sectors and even civil society. This is proudly a pool of knowledge and wisdom already making meaningful contributions to RTA. The Board has had a series of meetings and will continue to make decisions to move RTA forward.
The RTA board and management will not rest until black and white plated buses are no longer visible, and until taxis with two number plates do not exist, and until drivers stop using paper receipts as drivers’ license, and until un-roadworthy vehicles are no longer seen on the roads, and until there are no overloaded heavy vehicles using our roads, and until our death toll due to traffic crashes is significantly decreased.
Funding is critical to have the RTA established. Without the RTA being established with the appropriate capabilities, there is no guarantee for effective service delivery including traffic law enforcement. RTA must train and equipment traffic enforcement officers including the Traffic Police. This requires RTA to have its structure filled with qualified people to drive many of these things.
RTA also needs proper systems for finance and accounting, human resource and payroll, and more importantly, systems to enable national vehicle registration and driver licensing. Such systems promote efficiency, accountability and transparency. Today’s business is about quality data and reliable information that is well recorded, stored and able to be retrieved at any time. Thus, RTA must start well by laying the foundation for proper processes and systems with the use of modern technology. All information should be integrated and the information stored must be authentic; free from duplication, abuse and fraud.
RTA therefore urges the important stakeholders to assist within their jurisdictions to get RTA established. When RTA is established with appropriate capability, the service delivery will translate into revenue streams that will sustain its operations in the years to come.