19 May 2017

Tanzania: Transport Sector - Where Parents Are Caned When Kids Misbehave

Stakeholders in the transportation sector have appealed to the government to clearly define separate offences within the Transport Licensing Regulations of 2017 - setting out liability for each, namely, the driver, the owner and the commuting public.

The Secretary General of the Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA), Mr Enea Mrutu made the call in Dar es Salaam, yesterday during a stakeholders meeting on the improvement of the regulations.

"In the previous meeting, we agreed that there should be separation of offences and liabilities... for the owners, drivers as well as the passengers but this has not been done," said Mr Mrutu.

Two months ago, the stakeholders met and held talks with the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, where it was agreed that the authorities should make amendments on the regulations.

"Surprisingly, the only aspect that has been reviewed involves translation of the regulations... the one for separation of the offences has not been done... so it can only mean that the goal of overcoming accidents in the country will not be attained," he said.

Mr Mrutu said that a mere increase in fines for traffic offences would not provide a lasting solution to ending the scourge of accidents -pointing to past proof of failures.

"It doesn't make sense that a child makes a mistake at school ... but the teacher instead reaches out to punish the parent.......for people to be responsible the regulations should target the particular individuals," noted Mr Mrutu.

The Vice-President of the Tanzania Association of Transporters (TAT), Mr Omari Kiponza, said there is an overlap of responsibilities between the police and the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA).

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