NATIONAL Institute of Transport (NIT) has established a Regional Centre of Excellence in Road Safety under the support of African Development Bank (AfDB).
NIT Rector Prof Zacharia Mganilwa said that AfDB has dished out 2.1 million US dollars to support the establishment of the Regional Centre of Excellence which will be in Dar es Salaam.
“Through the pact with AfDB, we have agreed to start offering road safety assessment and road safety audit courses that will help ease road accidents,” Prof Mganilwa said.
He further said that the Institute will start offering the courses before the end of this year after the centre received accreditation from the International Road Federation (IRF).
“No Institution in the country is offering road safety assessment and road safety audit courses. We will be the first Institute to start offering these programmes.
“All the people and companies who will receive these courses will be qualified internationally. There will be no need again for the Tanzanians and the companies to go for these courses abroad.”
Due to lack of the courses, many Tanzanian firms are not recognised when tenders advertised need an international certification.
“We want to see all road construction and maintenance projects that need international qualifications as a criterion to be taken by locals.”
Prof Mganilwa also said that under the MoU with AfDB, the Regional Centre will have an international consultant, as well as 10 local professionals who will receive training on trainers’ courses.
The Centre will take professionals from Dar es Salaam University (UDSM), Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS), Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) to receive training of trainers’ course on road safety.
“After these 10 professionals qualified for training of trainers’ course on road safety, that’s where the Centre will apply for a certification to the International Road Federation (IRF),” the Rector said.
He said after the International Road Federation (IRF) gives approval, the Regional Centre of Excellence in Road Safety will immediately commence offering the courses at NIT Mabibo campus.
“The Centre will also offer online courses on road safety, therefore residents from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and other countries in SADC and EAC will learn the courses while in their mother countries, hence reduce costs,” he said.
A road safety audit (RSA) is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team.
It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users.
Road safety audits differ from conventional traffic safety studies in two key ways: road safety audits are often pro-active investigations, rather than reactive investigations of sites with histories of complaints or poor safety performance, and the investigation team is independent from the staff that is designing the project or maintains the road.
Also, a road safety audit may investigate general safety conditions, or it may focus on specific concerns or users.
Walk ability audits concentrate on pedestrian safety and accommodation, and transit audits focus on safety of bus and train users.
A key feature of a road safety audit is the use of a team of professionals with varied expertise. The team should include highway safety engineers, highway design engineers, maintenance personnel, and law enforcement. Additional specialties should be added to the team as needed.
The team members must not be involved in the design or maintenance of the facility being examined, so that they can have an objective point of view.