Moshi — Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has warned the traffic police against demanding bribes from drivers of motor vehicles.
Moreover, she asked the traffic police to refrain from harassing drivers, who adhered to road safety rules, saying it was contrary to their duty of protecting members of the public and their property.
Ms Hassan said this on Monday October 16 during the launch of Road Safety Week, which at national level was held at Mashujaa grounds in Moshi Municipal Council, Kilimanjaro Region.
However, she said 76 per cent of road accidents were caused by human errors due to use of mobile phones, tiredness and driving or riding, while drunk.
Other reasons according to her, are mechanical problems.
She noted that the majority of road accidents were caused by reckless motorcyclists.
"As a result of preventable accidents, the country has continued losing its manpower with some getting lifetime disabilities and increasing the number of widows," she said.
"In this year alone between January and September there have been 42,721 accidents, which claimed lives of 1,613 people, while 1,597 others were injured," added the Vice President.
She said Kilimanjaro Region was recorded to have 84 accidents caused by motorcyclists. She added that in those accidents, 61 people were killed and 21 others were injured. Statistics, according to her, remain high and unacceptable in a country like Tanzania.
She also expressed her disappointment after the country was mentioned in a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as leading a list of countries with a high rate of road accidents globally.
For his part, Minister of Home Affairs Mwigulu Nchemba directed the Surface and Marline Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) to allow upcountry buses travelling long distances to start their journey as easily as possible.
"This will make drivers relax and drive safely compared to what there are doing right now," he said.