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TBS drums emphasis on use of proper helmets

ROAD safety stakeholders have urged Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the traffic police to collaborate in curbing wearing of substandard helmets by motorcyclists and passengers in the country.

In addition, the stakeholders also urged the government to speed up the plan for manufacturing the protective helmets approved by TBS.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, one of the Road Safety Journalists’ Mentors, Ms Sarah Kinyage said traffic police should be trained on how to detect and stop ‘bodabodas’ from using substandard helmets while riding.

She was speaking at a coffee chat organised by Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) on how the media can contribute in enabling the country’s leadership to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems by 2030.

The meeting brought together road safety journalist fellows, mentors and other stakeholders in the country.

“TBS should train the traffic police and cooperate with them (police) in detecting the right helmets which ‘bodaboda’ ought to use,” said Ms Kinyage.

TBS released the national standard protective helmets known as TSZ 1478 in 2013; however, stakeholders argued that majority of motorcyclists use substandard helmets which are not safe.

On the other hand, a member of Tanzania Road Safety Council, Mr Henry Bantu, called for the need for links between all road safety players when making up various decisions, including the review of road traffic laws.

“In order for the system to work, all the players should do their work and coordinate the whole system together,” he said, adding that the matter of wearing helmets requires all players concerned to collaborate and address the use of substandard goods.

He also said TBS should enable the traffic police to ensure the appropriate use of the recommended helmets, as well as curbing the importation of substandard helmets in the country.

The latest data from the Traffic Police Department indicates that over 8,000 people died from motorcycle accidents during the past 10 years, an average of 800 deaths a year, with 35,231 others seriously injured.

The data, compiled between 2009 and 2018, shows a negative impact of the newly adopted mode of commercial transport, with 8,004 fatalities recorded during that period.

According to police statistics, 2013 topped the death toll from motorcycle crashes with 1,098 people losing their lives from 6,831 accidents, while 6,578 survivors sustained injuries.

The World Health Organisation, (WHO) data shows that almost a quarter of the victims of road traffic collisions who require admission to a hospital facility have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The organisation, therefore, calls for mandatory laws on helmet wearing, insisting that they are important in increasing the use of correct and appropriate helmets, especially in low-income countries where use of motorized two wheelers is high.

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Author: ANNE ROBI

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