PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan cautioned all road users, including pedestrians to adhere to traffic rules and regulations in order to minimise loss of lives and damage to property as a result of road accidents.
In a message posted on her Twitter, she wished those injured in a car accident in Same District on Tuesday, Kilimanjaro region quick recovery so that they rejoin their families.
“I am saddened by the news of the deaths of 10 people, who died in a car accident in Same, Kilimanjaro Region. I pray for the deceased to rest in eternal peace and a quick recovery for the injured. Besides, I urge road users to adhere to road regulations to avoid accidents,” read the tweet.
At least 10 people were killed and 12 others seriously injured on Tuesday afternoon when two mini-buses collided head-on in the Makanya area on the outskirts of the Same District.
According to Same District Commissioner, Rosemary Senyamula, the accident happened at around 1 p.m. after one bus had a rear tyre burst forcing its driver to lose control. Ms Senyamula said the injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment, adding that five of them were in critical condition.
However, analysis of a report gathered from 135 countries including China, India, and the Philippines, indicates that Tanzania for the past 24 years experienced deaths and injuries, which could have been cut by half.
In Tanzania, official data from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Police shows that in 2016 the country recorded a total of 10,297 road accidents, which caused 3,381 deaths and left 9,549 injured.
The statistics also show that between 2016 and 2019 in Tanzania, 5,809 died in 6,436 road accidents that the World Bank further cites as the major cause of mortality and long term disability among people aged 15 and 29 in their prime working age. In most of the accidents that occur in the country, drivers were cited as either overspeeding or driving recklessly if other factors like mechanical faults and poor infrastructures are put aside.
Very few observe the allowed speed limits in urban and other human settlement areas’ stipulation of 50km/h and nonresidential areas 80km/h.
According to a World Bank report, every year 1.25 million people lose their lives in road accidents, leaving 20 to 50 million others seriously injured, although 90 per cent of the accidents occur in low and middleincome countries and weigh down public health facilities.
Due to this, the government through the Traffic unit has been monitoring the speed of all motor vehicles on regional roads and highways to ensure laws are observed and those who violate them are punished.
The punishments in most cases are in the forms of 30,000/- fine as charges for errant drivers, including those who ignore Zebra signs and drive under the influence of alcohol.
On April 22, 2020, Minister for Home Affairs, George Simbachawene told the Parliament that road accidents in Tanzania decreased by 26 per cent in nine months from July 2019 to March 2020.
The Minister said 1,920 road accidents were recorded from July 2019 to March 2020 in comparison to 2,593 accidents reported from July 2018 to March 2019.
“This means there was a decrease of 673 accidents that was equivalent to a reduction of 26 per cent,” he told the House in Dodoma, while tabling his ministry’s budget proposals for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Mr Simbachawene said 1,084 people were killed in the accidents from July 2019 to March 2020 in comparison to 1,216 deaths recorded as from July 2018 to March 2019, showing a decrease of 11 per cent.
He added that 2,639 people were injured in accidents recorded between July 2018 to March 2019 in comparison to 2,129 injuries of July 2019 to March 2020, a decrease of 19.3 per cent.