Tanzania opens doors for speed limit review

DODOMA: The government said yesterday that it is prepared to gather input from experts and stakeholders on road safety in order to consider amending traffic laws to adjust the speed limit from 50 km/h to 80 km/h and from 80 km/h to 100 km/h.

In Tanzania, the speed limit is currently 80 km/h on highways and 50 km/h in urban areas.

During a question-and-answer session in the House, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Daniel Sillo, stated that the government plans to seek input and feedback from experts and stakeholders regarding potential amendments to the traffic laws concerning speed limits.

He noted that the decision will take into account factors such as road conditions, vehicle conditions, and others.

Mr Sillo was responding to a query from Nyamagana MP Stanislaus Mabula (CCM), who inquired about the timeline for the government to adjust the speed limit from a minimum of 50 km/h to 80 km/h and from 80 km/h to 100 km/h.

The MP stated that the current law, which requires drivers to travel between 50km/h and 100km/h, was established a long time ago when the country had inadequate road networks and outdated vehicles.

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He pointed out that nowadays, there are modern, high-performance cars capable of reaching speeds of up to 280km/h, making it inappropriate to maintain 80km/h as the maximum speed limit.

“The existing traffic regulations were implemented at a time when our roads were subpar. Today, we have improved infrastructure nationwide and advanced vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 280km/h. Therefore, it is unjust to restrict speeds to 80km/h. We need to make changes to propel this country forward,” he emphasized.

In response, the deputy minister referred to the 1973 Traffic Law, specifically Section 168, which was revised in 2002 under Section 51 (8), establishing speed limits of 50km/h and 80km/h. He noted that the law remains valid, taking into account the current road conditions in Tanzania and the training provided to drivers.

Nevertheless, the deputy minister expressed that the government would be open to revising the law if significant improvements were made to the country’s infrastructure by road agencies.

“The government is willing to reconsider adjusting the speed limits if there are enhancements made to our roads and if drivers receive additional training,” he stated.

Furthermore, the deputy minister mentioned that the ministry would be receptive to feedback from experts, stakeholders, and the general public regarding potential amendments to the law to accommodate the proposed new speed limits.

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