LATRA launches commercial vehicle operators training

DAR ES SALAAM: IN a bid to improve land transport services, the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has officially launched training for commercial vehicle operators, especially passenger bus crew.

Speaking on Wednesday at the event held in Dar es Salaam, LATRA Director General, CPA Habibu Suluo said the training has been introduced in accordance with Section 5 (1) (e) of Land Transport Regulatory Authority Act, Cap.413.

He said based on the Act, the authority is responsible for certification of commercial vehicle drivers and registration of crew.

“The purpose is to ensure that Tanzanians get quality transportation services provided by professional bus crew who have received proper training,” he said.

He added that the training entails understanding the LATRA  Act and its regulations, Road Traffic Act and its regulations, customer care service, how to provide first aid if a passenger encounters health challenges, the safety of people and property, as well as the handling of luggage.

“LATRA has planned to officially start the registration of the bus crews in January, next year after the group participates in the training and get certificates after passing the exams,” CPA Suluo emphasised.

He mentioned the reason behind the introduction of the training to the bus crew, as lack of understanding of the Land Transport Regulatory Authority Act and its regulation which lead to many complaints from passengers about misbehaviour by some of the bus crew when executing their duties.

CPA Suluo noted that the training will currently be provided by the National Institute of Transport (NIT) and College of Business Education (CBE).

The authority has continued to improve transport services as recently LATRA DG revealed that in the past three years, investment in transport sector in the country has continued to improve as the authority issued more than 40,000 new licenses.

“From 2020/21 to 2022/23, the number of transport licenses issued by the authority increased from 230,253 to 284,158, an increase equivalent to 18.4 per cent,” he underlined.

Moreover, he said that the authority made great strides in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) where the authority now uses various systems such as the Railway and Road Information Management System (RRIMS) and the Vehicles Tracking System (VTS).

He also added that the Authority also uses e-Ticketing System, LATRA Application System (LATRA App), e-Mrejesho System and the National e-Procurement System of Tanzania (NeST), pledging to continue improving the systems.

“Since the introduction of the VTS, LATRA has been successful in many aspects, including significantly reducing road accidents caused by speeding and simplifying the investigation of accidents when they occur,” the LATRA DG said.

He also said VTS also identifies the driver on the wheel through the driver identification button (I – Button), which is directly connected to the VTS system.

In particular he said, this financial year, the authority has been able to establish a customer service center that operates 24 hours to facilitate the provision of services to customers to facilitate timely solving of disputes and other challenges.

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