Transport minister Harrison Mwakyembe has formed a task force to work out measures to end road carnage that has become overly frequent in the country, killing and maiming hundreds of innocent Tanzanians.
A 13-member committee has been given 14 days to go through the 13 terms of reference that stakeholders in the transport sector suggested in a meeting held on Saturday.
The meeting was called to chart the way foward in an attempt to find a lasting solution for escalating road accidents. It brought together the ministry of Transport, Tanzania Bus Owners Association (Taboa), the ministry of Labour and Employment, the Police and the Presidential Delivery Bureau (PDB). Chaired by Dr Mwakyembe, the meeting was also attended by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ernest Mangu as well as Labour and Employment minister Gaudensia Kabaka.
The Transport minister invited bus owners in Dodoma to brainstorm and make resolutions that would save lives. There have been frequent road accidents that have seen many people killed and others injured. In this month alone, 46 people died and 124 got seriously injured in different accidents that occured in Mara, Mbeya and Morogoro regions. Dr Mwakyembe noted that road accidents increased at an alarming rate in the last three months. He said if measures to curb the road carnage were not taken, the situation could get worse.
He said that in June the country recorded 1,157 accidents that claimed the lives of 320 people, injuring 1,189 others. In July there were 1435 accidents that left 365 people dead while 1261 people were wounded. Last month, there were 1,146 accidents that took the lives of 390 people, injuring 1,395 others. “When you look at these figures, it is obvious that the accidents are likely to shoot up if we do not put measures in place to prevent them.
Yesterday, Dr Mwakyembe was optimistic however, that after the select committee handed over its report, the solution for road accidents would be obtained. The commitee is under the leadership of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Transport. The members include Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Labour and Employment, the head of traffic department Mr Mohammed Mpinga, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) commissioner and Tanzania Buss Owners Association (Taboa).
Others are Tanroads chief executive officer (CEO), National Institute of Transport (NIT) principal, Sumatra CEO, Veta CEO, Presidential Delivery Bureau (PDB) CEO and an official from the Tanzania Trucks Owners Association (Tatoa).
The terms of reference include among others: Analysing contracts of drivers and their employment schemes; suggesting the maximum speed limit that will guide drivers in the roads as well as finding out whether there is good team work between Sumatra, the Police and Taboa officials.
The team will also analyse mandatory inspection of vehicles, effects of penalties on traffic offences to owners and suggest how weighbridges should work. The Transport minister gave the committee two weeks to accomplish its work. It is expected to hand over its report on October 1, 2014. Dr Mwakyembe said he would convene another meeting with transport stakeholders on October 5.