22 February 2018

Tanzania: Stakeholders Push for Road Safety Act Amendment

ROAD safety stakeholders have mentioned improper use of helmets among 'bodaboda' riders as the major cause of deaths that result from road accidents.

According to stakeholders, many bodaboda riders wear a hard-hat instead of the specified helmet. They said some of the riders put on helmets that are designed for cyclists, which is wrong according to road safety regulations.

Stakeholders were sharing knowledge during the Road Safety training to journalists in Dar es Salaam. The training was organised by Tanzania Media women's Association (Tamwa).

Worth still, according to them, Road Safety Act, 2013 is silent on the uses of helmet for 'bodaboda' riders. Stakeholders have asked the government through the parliament to amend the Road Safety Act 2013 so that it could accommodate the uses of helmet among bodaboda riders. Training facilitator from Tanzania Media Fund (TMF), Ms Sarah Kinyaga said:

"Relevant authorities focus only on two helmets in possession of bodaboda operators, one for the driver and the other for the passenger. Education is not given on either the appropriate helmet or how to fix it on their heads," As a result, she added that bodaboda accidents have been increasing, with helmets used just for formalities but are useless in actual sense because they are not correctly fixed.

"Educate drivers first. They will in turn disseminate the acquired knowledge to their passengers," she said.

Tamwa Crisis Resolving Centre Coordinator, Ms Gladness Munuo challenged the Road Safety Act, saying it lacked important contents, including child restraints directives to protect children from harm during road accidents.

The Act also discriminates some car passengers when belt usage is concerned, as it considered only the driver and his/ her front seat, but speaks nothing on the rest of the passengers sitting in the back seats


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