25 December 2012

Tanzania: Motorcycle Accidents Claim 771 Lives This Year

ROAD accidents involving motorcycles have claimed 771 lives out of 4,637 accidents recorded in the country between January and November, this year.

The accidents also left some 4,562 people injured during the period, according to the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the National Road Safety Council of Tanzania, Mr Pereira Silima.

"These figures show that motorcyclists are more vulnerable in road accidents and thus should be careful and observe road signs," the deputy minister said. Motorcycles have of late become a dependable means of transport in Dar es Salaam and other towns countrywide, due to traffic congestion.

Commonly referred to as 'boda boda,' the means of transport has also provided jobs to the locals. Mr Silima made the remarks at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday in which he also spoke on various issues regarding road safety.

On the other hand, he said the police force in collaboration with the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) will continue with a joint-operation to ensure safety on roads.

Inflating fares and changing of travelling timetable haphazardly and overloading in public transport as well as speeding and driving motor vehicles without licences are among issues that will be dealt with accordingly, he explained.

The deputy minister also directed that there should be compulsory and regular inspection of vehicles in order to ensure that only road worth vehicles are allowed on roads. Records show that road accidents are on the rise during November and December each year, as many people travel from one part of the country to another to visit friends and relatives during the festive season.

During November and December, 2010, there were 3,965 accidents which claimed 559 lives while 3,377 people sustained injuries. Likewise, during the same period last year, there were a total of 3,326 accidents in which 594 people lost their lives whilst 3,034 were injured.

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