Tanzania: New Road Traffic Laws Target Reckless, Illegal Drivers

Mbeya — The government has proposed new measures to tackle the scourge of reckless driving and reduce road traffic accidents.

Among the key elements of regulations on the cards is a national database of drivers, which will be used to check competence and ensure traceability.

The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications yesterday held a meeting with transport stakeholders during which the new measures were tabled.

Mr Haroun Kisaka, director of transport services in the ministry, said the main aim of the proposed new regulations is to address the biggest problems on Tanzanian roads -- incompetent, reckless and illegal drivers.

He said: "The new system will help the authorities assess the competence of drivers, and at the same time relieves owners of commercial vehicles the burdent of preventable penalties."

The regulations will govern operations of the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Latra).

Cases of drivers running away after causing accidents on highways are not uncommon in the country. Tracing them is a headache for the Police.

"Previously, the Surface and Marine Transport Authority (Sumatra) used to condemn vehicle owners for the mistakes of a driver who escapes an accident scene or flouts traffic regulations," Mr Kisaka said.

The proposed database will ensure every commercial driver has a proper licence and job contracts.

Held in Mbeya, yesterday's meeting was about reviewing a draft on transport regulations and laws with the aim of improving the transport sector in the country and increasing employment opportunities for drivers.

Mbeya Regional Traffic Commander Meloe Buzema said the new system would help address the problem of informal driving jobs.

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