EVERY day children, young people or generally the general public interact with the road and traffic system either as a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or driver, and this answers well why their safety must come first as they are on the roads.
To realise this, road safety education in schools, should be something that is continuous in the institutions and in the general public to prepare and equip this vulnerable road user group with the knowledge, skills and positive attitudes that will enable them to stay safe.
With that in mind, road safety education and punishment to defiant drivers, who constantly contribute to road accidents as indicated, decreased from 5,578 in 2017 to 3,732 last year, require much analysis.
With further statistics released by Police Traffic Unit in Dar es Salaam, recently showing that the number of deaths caused by road accidents, also having dropped from 2,581 in 2017 to 1,788 last year, besides the injured number also dropping from 5,489 to 3,746 over the period, it means public education must be a sustainable programme to further bring the data to zero.
The statistics further indicate that the deaths due to motorcycle accidents were higher as compared to vehicles, particularly in 2018, when 313 motorcyclists perished in road accidents in comparison to 178 motorists, yet this is the reckless group on roads.
The data while additionally indicating that in 2017, the deaths were 623 for bodaboda operators and 202 motorists, Head of Traffic Unit, SACP Fortunatus Musilimu, should be supported to continue reinforcing road safety laws and make sure that stern legal measures are taken against motorists/bodaboda riders, who would be caught violating laws.
According to him, overtaking, ignoring zebra signs, alcohol consuming as well as speeding are among crimes that take drivers directly to police custody and later to the court of law.
“Then after, we nullify their licences, prevent them from driving commuter buses or cargo vehicles. We continue educating drivers and the public in general through various means/media, including visiting bus and bodaboda stations,” he was quoted as saying.
This school of thought, however, rules out any traffic officer taking the law into his/her hand to engage in a psychical fight with a suspected motorists being accused of violating traffic laws, like what belittled and ashamed the force and public in Songwe and awash in social media recently.