HABITUAL violation of road safety and traffic regulations has forced the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to design national standards that will govern construction of road humps countywide.
The draft of the new standards comes as a unique move to the country because under normal circumstances internationally, highways are not supposed to have the humps.
But according to TBS, almost all roads in the country bear humps that were poorly designed and have a wide range of shapes and sizes, hence the need to standardise them.
In the pre-implementation seminar for the standard on 'Road Humps and Rumble Strips (TZS 1585;2013)' held at the TBS headquarters yesterday, stakeholders said the move had been long overdue but was equally important to tame increasing road accidents and other calamities.
"The standards have been introduced amid rising needs and will assist construction companies design uniform humps to be erected in all roads countrywide," said the TBS Acting Director General in a speech read on his behalf by Ms Sarah Mneney.
He said it was expected that when the standard is finally introduced, it would be uniform just like standardised vehicle number plates.While humps are designed to regulate movement of motor traffic in order to reduce accidents from speeding vehicles, rumble strips are constructed across road to provide audible and vibratory warning on potential danger to the road users.
TBS Standards Officer with the Building and Construction section, Eng. Josephat Shilogile said wherever road humps were constructed, warning signs should be installed and humps should be draft-painted with thermoplastic reflective white paint.
He said at both ends of a hump, a 1500m high white pole fitted with white and red reflectors on both directions shall be erected to further enhance the poisoning of the hump to road user.
"In the course of maintenance, regular inspection shall be conducted to ensure road humps strips do not distort excessively in shape and size in the course of time," he said.
However, as the draft was being discussed, a concern was raised from Tanzania Road Agency (TANROADS) which claimed it was not involved during the preparation of the standard.
Its two senior officers in attendance said already the Agency had designed its own manuals on the humps required to replace the existing substandard ones.
They said it was not clear within the Agency who was actually the custodian of quality issues and what comes first between regulations and guidelines as issued by the parent ministry or TBS.
"Mr Chairperson, on this particular issue despite that we were not involved, we don't understand what actually comes first; the ministry regulations and directives or standard matters from TBS?" demanded Eng. Eliamin Tenga from TANROADS.
TBS Eng. Shilogile said official invitation was sent to TANROADS but they refused to take part in the technical committee on humps, on grounds that it had its own guidelines on required humps.
It was clear from the meeting that TANROADS were not aware of the TBS obligations on the humps issue, but the explanation from Mr Mneney left its officers satisfied and pledging to cooperate in ensuring the new standard was implemented.