Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Traffic Police Seek to Reduce Road Carnage

THE Traffic Police Division in the country has beefed up road patrols, vehicle inspections and increased numbers of officers along some highways and Dar es Salaam city by over 50 per cent to ensure unnecessary road accidents are prevented during this festive season.

The Traffic Police Commander, Mr Mohamed Mpinga, told the 'Daily News' that to ensure road accidents are avoided, they have taken more serious measures to deal with reckless drivers and upcountry bus operators.

"In collaboration with the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (SUMATRA), we are organized to carryout random upcountry bus inspections.

Most of the road mishaps are a result of failure to adhere to road safety regulations," Mr Mpinga told this paper in a telephone interview. He said that more efforts were directed towards controlling speeding, dealing with drunk drivers and making sure that all passengers fasten seat-belts.

"Driving while intoxicated is dangerous and drivers with high blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) are at increased risk of car accidents, highway injuries and vehicular deaths," the traffic chief said, noting that they were prepared to deal with this.

He noted that the number of traffic officers will be increased especially to the accident-prone areas and all the highways just to ensure that there is a close and serious scrutiny.

The traffic boss insisted that they have mounted an extensive, strategic and countrywide operation against all buses which operate without observing road safety regulations.

Buses that would be found to have failed to observe such regulations, according to Commander Mpinga, would be impounded and their owners penalised.

Mr Mpinga said that traffic officers would also ensure that motorcycle operators wear helmets and avoid carrying more than one passenger on 'bodabodas.'

The traffic chief added that as they have dispatched a big number of traffic police officers all over the country, more abrupt and random inspections will be carried out in a move to identify drunk, speeding and reckless drivers before subjecting them to stern legal action.

He also added that more police vehicles and motorcycles were also added to make patrols easier and more effective. "If drivers were serious enough to observe road safety regulations and avoid careless overtaking, it would have been easier to curb unnecessary road accidents which claim a number of lives in the country," he noted.

Commander Mpinga appealed for drivers of private vehicles, commuter buses and upcountry buses to ensure that they take part in avoiding accidents by observing traffic regulations.

He also demanded passengers to tip off relevant authorities whenever it comes to their attention that the driver is reckless so that immediate measures could be taken.

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