PUBLIC ROADS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE ROADS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

   3.   Establishment of Agency

   4.   Functions of Agency

   5.   Powers of Agency

   6.   Composition of Agency

   7.   Director

   8.   Secretary and other staff

PART III
ROADS AND ROAD RESERVES

   9.   Classification and vesting of public roads

   10.   Inter-territorial main roads and territorial main roads

   11.   District roads

   12.   Branch roads

   13.   Urban roads

   14.   Rural roads

   15.   Estate roads

   16.   Park roads

   17.   Exemption of roads from certain provisions of this Act

   18.   Public roads dedicated to public use

   19.   Service of notice in reserves

   20.   Appointment of road authorities

   21.   Width of roads

   22.   Control points of access, structures, etc.

   23.   Designation of branch roads

   24.   Report and recommendations to be submitted to Agency

   25.   Branch roads may be designated district roads

   26.   Branch roads may be designated district roads

   27.   Reclassification, closure or diversion of road

   28.   Notice to be given

   29.   Disposal of storm water

   30.   Storm water and adjoining

   31.   Control of roads and traffic

   32.   Powers of road authority to control traffic

   33.   Traffic signs

   34.   Temporary traffic signs

   35.   Control of advertisements

   36.   Exceptions

   38.   Experimental schemes of traffic control

PART IV
CARE, MAINTENANCE AND CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS

   39.   Care, maintenance and construction of roads

   40.   Immunity from liability of roads authorities and their staff

   41.   Power of road authority to enter upon land

   42.   Power to construct an maintain deviations

   43.   Power to reserve land for proposed roads

   44.   Reservation of road reserve

   45.   Withdrawal or modification of reservation

   46.   Unauthorised acts on reserved land

   47.   Compensation

   48.   Power to take materials for road works

   49.   Road authorities’ employees may park vehicles, erect huts, etc., on private land

   50.   Contractors may exercise rights granted to road authority

   51.   Power to undertake ancillary works

   52.   Provision of footpaths, cycle tracks, etc.

   53.   Ferries and pontoons

   54.   Power to make rules controlling the construction of cattle grids

   55.   Prevention of damage, etc.

   56.   Regulation of undertakers’ works

   57.   Execution of undertakers’ works

   58.   Undertakers to provide warning and safety precautions

   59.   Works at railway crossing

   60.   Removal of apparatus

   61.   Powers enjoyed by electricity undertakings

   62.   Limitation of time in which works may be executed

PART V
AXLE WEIGHT CONTROL

   63.   Minister to prescribe maximum laden and axle weight

   64.   Prohibition of overloading

   65.   Impounding of vehicles

   66.   Prohibition of driving away impounded vehicle

   67.   Weighing of certain vehicles

   67A.   Power to prohibit driving of overloaded vehicle

   67B.   Absconding from weigh bridge

   67C.   Permit to move abnormal load

   67D.   Awkward load

   67E.   Owner of motor vehicle to compensate Agency for damage to road

   68.   Certificate of weight

   68A.   Payment of fine without appearing in court

   68B.   Fines to remitted into Road Fund

   68C.   Forfeiture of certain vehicles

   68D.   Appointment of agent to operate weighbridge

PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS

   69.   Power of local authority to collect parking fees

   70.   References to Director of roads

   71.   Liability of owner and driver for damage

   72.   Liability of Agency for failure to sustain vehicle

   73.   Delegated authority

   74.   Closing of roads

   75.   Construction of bridge over water or sewer

   76.   Excavation in roads

   77.   General penalty

   78.   Regulations

   79.   Amendment of Cap. 464 and transitional provisions

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to establish the Road Development Agency and to define its functions; to provide for the care, maintenance and construction of public roads in Zambia; to regulate maximum weights permissible for transmission on roads; and to provide for matters connected with and incidental to the foregoing.

[30th January, 2004]

Act 12 of 2002,

Act 10 of 2006.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Roads Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“advertisement” includes any structure or apparatus erected, or intended, for the display of advertisements, but shall not include a traffic sign prescribed or authorised under the provisions of section 33;

“Agency” means the Road Development Agency established by section 3;

“animal” means a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog;

“appointed date” means the date appointed under section 1;

“Authority” means the Zambia Wildlife Authority established by section 4 of the Zambia Wildlife Act;

“auto cycle” means a bicycle which has pedals and a motor attached and can be propelled by means of pedals and by mechanical or electrical power from the motor;

“axle” in relation to a vehicle, means a device or set of devices, whether continuous across the width of the vehicle or not, about which the wheels of the vehicle rotate and which is so placed that, when the vehicles is travelling straight ahead, the vertical centre lines of the wheels would be in one vertical plane at right angles to the longitudinal centre-line of the vehicles;

“axle load” means weight transmitted on the road by an axle bearing two tyres or more;

“axle weight” means in relation to an axle of a vehicle the aggregate weight transmitted to the surface of the roads or other base where on the vehicle moves or rests by the several wheels attached to that axle;

“bicycle” shall include a tricycle;

“carriageway” means that part of a road designated and constructed to be used for vehicular traffic or used or reasonably usable for the time being for that purpose, but shall not include a cycle track or a shoulder;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed as chairperson of the Agency under section 5;

“committee” means a committee of the Agency established under paragraph 5 of the First Schedule;

“cycle track” means a portion of a road exclusive of a carriage way set aside for use solely by persons riding bicycles;

“centre-line of an axle unit” means a line mid-way between the centre-lines of the extreme axles of an axle unit;

“Council Secretary” means the person appointed as council secretary of a District Council under the Local Government Act;

“Director” means the person appointed as Director under section 7;

“Environmental Officer” means an environmental Officer or any other person, declared by the Minister, by Gazette notice, to be an Environmental Officer under the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act;

“footpath” means a portion of a road exclusive of the carriageway set aside for use solely by pedestrians;

“Fund” means the Road Fund established under the National Road Fund Act;

“gate” means a gate of sufficient width to allow reasonable free use of the road, having regard to the traffic on the road, and of not less than five metres, having a balance or catch or other free fastener so fixed as to enable the gate to move clear of the road free from drag;

“gridiron track” means a track constructed through an opening in a fence intersecting a road, with the object of allowing the passage of vehicles and preventing the passage of livestock;

“inter-section” means the crossing of two or more roads;

“laden weight” means the net weight of a motor vehicle or trailer, together with the actual weight of goods or passengers or both carried by the vehicle or trailer;

“local authority” means a city council, Municipal Council or District Council established under the Local Government Act;

“local authority area” means the area over which a local authority exercises jurisdiction;

“National Park” shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the Zambia Wildlife Act;

“park” means to keep a vehicle, whether occupied or not, stationary for a period of time greater than is reasonably necessary for the actual loading or unloading persons or goods, except if the vehicle is stationary for a reason beyond the control of the persons in charge of the vehicle, and “parking” shall have a corresponding meaning;

“public place” includes any public way or place, other than a building, to which for the time being the public are entitled or permitted to have access either with or without condition;

“public road” means any road of a class described in section 9;

“road authority” means the authority responsible for the construction, care an maintenance of any road or class of road in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

“road” means any highway, and any other road to which the public have access and any public place to which vehicles have access and any road in any residential area, whether access to it is restricted or not, which is part of a local authority area and includes any bridge, causeway, dam, ditch, drain, embarkment, fence, ferry pontoon, ford, culvert or other work in the line of the road.

“Road Fund Agency” means the Road Fund Agency established under the National Road Fund Act;

“road reserve” means any part of the road other than the carriageway, footpath or cycle track;

“Road Transport and Safety Agency” means the Road Transport and Safety Agency established under the Road Traffic Act;

“structure” includes—

      (a)   any building, pole, power line, petrol pump, machinery, wall, plantation or hedge and any other object which could in like manner cause an obstruction; and

      (b)   any external alteration or addition to a structure;

“traffic sign” means any object or device, whether fixed or portable, for conveying warning, information requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions of any description prescribed or authorised under this Act to traffic on any road and includes any line or mark on a road for conveying the warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions;

“traffic signal” means a road sign which by means of automatic signals alternately directs traffic to stop and permits it to proceed;

“undertaker” means the authority, body or person by whom a statutory power to execute undertaker’s works is exercisable;

“undertaker’s works” means works, including works executed or to be executed on behalf of the Government, for any purposes, other than road purposes, being works of any of the following kinds—

      (a)   placing apparatus, inspecting, maintaining, adjusting, repairing, altering or renewing apparatus, or changing the position of apparatus or removing it;

      (b)   breaking up or opening (a) and tunnelling or boring under a road for those purposes, breaking up or opening a sewer, drain or tunnel for those purposes, and other works requisite for or incidental to those purposes, and shall include laying any pipeline, wire or cable on or over any road;

“weighing device” means a weighbridge or any other apparatus’ whether installed in a fixed position or mobile, which is intended for use for determining the weight of vehicles, laden or unladen;

“weigh station” means an establishment at which vehicles are weighed by a weighing device to determine the weight of vehicles laden or unladen; and

“works” includes any pipe, tube, tunnel, permanent evacuation, quarry, irrigation works, borehole or well, and any addition or alteration to the works.

PART II
THE ROAD DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

3.   Establishment of Agency

   (1) There is hereby established the Road Development Agency which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name, and with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may by law do or perform.

   (2) The provisions of the First Schedule shall apply to the Agency.

4.   Functions of Agency

   (1) The functions of the Agency shall be to plan, manage and coordinate the road network in the country.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1) the Agency shall—

      (a)   carry out routine and emergency maintenance of public roads through its employees or independent contractors;

      (b)   conduct such studies as it may consider necessary for the development, maintenance and improvement of the road network in Zambia;

      (c)   advise road authorities regarding the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads under their jurisdiction;

      (d)   provide guidance and technical assistance to road authorities;

      (e)   receive and consider reports from road authorities on their activities and prepare quarterly and consolidated annual reports;

      (f)   recommend to the Minister the appointment of any person or institution as a road authority;

      (g)   prepare and review terms of reference and guidelines for road authorities including budget guidelines;

      (h)   review from time to time the status of road authorities and recommend appropriate action to the Minister.

      (i)   make recommendations in relation to sitting of buildings on road-sides;

      (j)   in consultation with the Road Fund Agency, recommend to the Minister funding for development of new roads;

      (k)   in consultation with the owners of property served by an estate road and the Road Fund Agency, determine the proportion of the cost of construction and maintaining an estate road to be borne by such owners;

      (l)   prepare and award contracts and certify works for public roads;

      (m)   review design standards and classification of roads and traffic signs;

      (n)   plan and co-ordinate the road network in the country;

      (o)   enforce axle load control; and

      (p)   carry out any other activities relating to roads which are necessary or conducive to the performance of its functions under this Act.

   (3) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), the Agency may, by direction in writing and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate to any member, Committee or Director any of its functions under this Act.

   (4) The Minister may give to the Agency such general or specific directions with respect to the carrying out of the functions of the Agency under this Act as the Minister may consider necessary and the Agency shall give effect to such directions.

5.   Powers of Agency

For the purpose of performing its functions the Agency shall have power to—

      (a)   classify, reclassify, close or divert any road;

      (b)   control traffic in the country during maintenance and construction of roads;

      (c)   after consultation with the Road Transport and Safety Agency, place temporary and permanent traffic signs;

      (d)   park vehicles, erect huts on private land during construction and maintenance of public roads;

      (e)   provide footpaths, cycle tracks and similar passageways;

      (f)   undertake ancillary work;

      (g)   construct, maintain and control storm-water drains;

      (h)   remove and alter road advertisements;

      (i)   enter upon land to carry out investigations connected with sitting, diverting, maintenance and construction of roads;

      (j)   recommend the reservation of land for proposed roads;

      (k)   regulate undertakers’ work across, on and within road reserves; and

      (l)   prevent damage to roads.

6.   Composition of Agency

   (1) The Agency shall consist of part time members appointed by the Minister as follows—

      (a)   a representative of the National Council for Construction;

      (b)   a representative of the Zambia National Farmers Union;

      (c)   a representative of the National Science and Technology Council;

      (d)   a representative of the Engineering Institute of Zambia;

      (e)   a representative of the Chartered Institute of Transport;

      (f)   a representative of—

      (i)   the ministry responsible for works and supply;

      (ii)   the ministry responsible for communications and transport;

      (iii)   the ministry responsible for local government and housing;

      (iv)   the ministry responsible for finance;

      (v)   the ministry responsible for tourism;

      (vi)   the ministry responsible for agriculture; and

      (vii)   the Attorney-General

      (g)   the Director of the Road Transport and Safety Agency;

      (h)   the Director of the National Road Fund Agency; and

      (i)   one other person.

   (2) The Director of the Road Traffic and Safety Agency and the Director of the Road Fund Agency referred to in paragraphs (g) and (h)   of sub-section (1) shall be ex-officio members of the Agency and shall have no vote.

   (3) The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Minister.

   (4) The Vice-Chairperson shall be elected by the members of the Agency from among their number.

   (5) The Agency shall report to the Committee of Ministers on Road Maintenance Initiative at such times and at such places as the Minister may determine.

   (6) The Committee of Ministers referred to in sub-section (5) shall comprise the Minister responsible for communications and transport who shall be the Chairperson, the Minister responsible for works and supply who shall be the Vice-Chairperson and the Ministers responsible for finance and national planning, local government and housing, energy and water development, agriculture and co-operatives, tourism, environment and natural resources and legal affairs.

   (7) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Agency if the person—

      (a)   has been convicted of an offence under this Act;

      (b)   has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or

      (c)   has been convicted of an offence against any other written law and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than six months without the option of fine.

   (8) For the purposes of this section “Committee of Ministers on Road Maintenance Initiative” means a Committee responsible for the institution of sustainable maintenance.

7.   Director

   (1) The Agency shall, with the approval of the Minister, appoint a Director who shall be the chief executive officer of the Agency and, subject to the control of the Agency, be responsible for the day to day administration of the Agency.

   (2) The Agency shall, with the approval of the Minister, determine the terms and conditions of service of the Director.

   (3) The Director shall attend meetings of the Agency and may attend meetings of any committee of the Agency and may address the meetings, but shall have no vote.

8.   Secretary and other staff

   (1) The Director shall be the Secretary to the Agency.

   (2) The Agency may appoint such other staff of the Agency as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act.

   (3) The Agency shall with the approval of the Minister, determine the terms and conditions of service of staff of the Agency.

PART III
ROADS AND ROAD RESERVES

9.   Classification and vesting of public roads

   (1) The public roads of Zambia shall be classified as follows—

      (a)   primary roads being—

      (i)   the inter-territorial main roads specified in the Third Schedule; and

      (ii)   the territorial main roads, as defined in section 10;

      (b)   secondary roads, as defined in section 11;

      (c)   tertiary roads being—

      (i)   branch roads, as defined in section 12;

      (ii)   urban roads, as defined in section 13;

      (iii)   rural roads, as defined in section 14;

      (iv)   estate roads, as defined in section 15;

      (v)   park roads, as defined in section 16; and

      (vi)   any other category of roads that the Minister may, on recommendation of the Agency, by statutory instrument, prescribe.

   (2) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order, designate any road to be a public road in accordance with the provisions and classifications of this Act.

   (3) Upon designation as a public road, the road shall vest in the President as public land.

   (4) All public roads shall be subject to such restrictions of use as the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, prescribe.

10.   Inter-territorial main roads and territorial main roads

   (1) Inter-territorial main roads shall be the public roads so designated by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order and connecting Zambia to neighbouring countries.

   (2) Territorial main roads shall be the public roads, other than inter-territorial main roads so designated by the Minister on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order.

   (3) The Director shall be the road authority responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of inter-territorial roads and territorial main roads in any area including in a local authority area.

   (4) All expenses incurred in the construction, care and maintenance of the inter-territorial main roads and territorial main roads referred to in sub-section (3) shall be paid for from the Fund.

11.   District roads

   (1) District roads shall be the public roads so designated as districts roads as by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order.

   (2) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, appoint, by statutory order, a road authority in respect of all or any district roads in any area including a local authority area.

   (3) The road authority appointed under sub-section (2) shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of district roads.

   (4) All expenses incurred by the road authority in the construction, care and maintenance of district roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

12.   Branch roads

   (1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, designate branch roads after application under section 23.

   (2) The Minister may designate branch roads on the Agency’s motion that the roads be designated as branch roads.

   (3) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, appoint a road authority in respect of all or any branch roads in any area including a local authority area.

   (4) The road authority appointed under sub-section (2) shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of branch roads.

   (5) The cost of the construction, care and maintenance of branch roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

13.   Urban roads

   (1) Urban roads shall be the public roads within a local authority area which may be designated urban roads by the Minister on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order.

   (2) The road authority in respect of any urban road shall be the local authority administering the area in which the road is situated and the local authority shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of the urban roads within its own area:

Provided that the Agency may, with the approval of the Minister, appoint any other person or institution to be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of the urban roads within any such area.

   (3) The cost of construction, care and maintenance of urban roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

14.   Rural roads

   (1) Rural roads shall be the public roads within a local authority area which may be designated as rural roads by the Minister on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order, on the application of the Permanent Secretary of the province in which they are situated.

   (2) The road authority in respect of any rural road shall be the District Council administering the area in which the road is situated and the District Council shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of rural roads within its own area:

Provided that the Agency may, with the approval of the Minister, appoint any other person or institution to be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of the rural roads within such area.

   (3) The cost of construction, care and maintenance of rural roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

15.   Estate roads

   (1) Estate roads shall be the public roads within a local authority area provided for purposes of internal access in any area being developed whether by Government or otherwise, for residential plots or farms.

   (2) The estate roads referred to in sub-section (1) shall be designated as estate roads by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Agency.

   (3) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, make rules for designation, provision, construction, care and maintenance of estate roads in any area being developed for residential plots or farms in terms of sub-section (1), other than an area which is subject to development scheme approved under the Town and Country Planning Act.

   (4) The road authority in respect of any estate road shall be any person or institution appointed by the Agency, with the approval of the Minister, in respect of that road and the road authority concerned shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of the estate road.

   (5) The cost of the construction, care and maintenance of estate roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

16.   Park roads

   (1) Park roads shall be the public roads outside a local authority area provided for purposes of internal access into a National Park.

   (2) Park roads may be designated as park roads, by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Agency, by statutory order, on the application of the Authority.

   (3) The road authority in respect of any park road shall be the road authority appointed by the Agency, with the approval of the Minister, in respect of that park road and the road authority concerned shall, subject to the direction of the Agency, be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of the park roads within its own area.

   (4) The cost of construction, care and maintenance of park roads shall be paid for from the Fund.

17.   Exemption of roads from certain provisions of this Act

The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Agency, declare, by statutory order, that the provisions of sections 35, 36, 37, 48, 51, 56, to 62 shall not apply to branch roads, rural roads or estate roads in any area or areas which may be designated in the order.

18.   Public roads dedicated to public use

   (1) All public roads shall, upon designation as such in accordance with the provision of this Act, be deemed to be dedicated to public use, subject to such restriction of use as may be prescribed.

   (2) The road authority concerned shall at all times have the right to enter and, subject to the provisions of this Act and to the direction of the Agency, to carry out any works and exercise any powers in relation to any public road and proposed public road.

   (3) After commencement of this Act, no work in relation to the construction of a public road or proposed public road shall be carried out on any land without prior notice in writing to the owner or occupier of the land concerned, or in any case where the owner or occupier cannot be traced within a reasonable time, without prior notice sent by registered post to the last known address within Zambia of the owner or occupier.

   (4) In the case of any public road or proposed public road which is constructed after the commencement of this Act, compensation may be paid to the owner or occupier of any land referred to in sub-section (3) other than a squatter, trespasser or any other person who has no title to the land over which the road is constructed.

   (5) Any claim for compensation referred to in sub-section (4) shall be submitted in writing and shall set out the nature of the interest of the claim of compensation and give details of any expenses or loss which may reasonably be incurred directly as a result of the taking or dedication to public use of land.

   (6) In the event of failure to agree upon the amount of compensation the matter shall be decided by arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Act.

   (7) In the case of any arbitration referred to in sub-section (6) the arbitrator, in making an award shall, unless the Agency shall otherwise direct—

      (a)   assess compensation in respect of improvements existing before the date of the notice in terms of sub-section (3) an damaged or destroyed or lost to the use of the owner or occupier by virtue of the construction and designation of the road;

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.