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Traffic police warn errant truck drivers, owners

TRUCK owners and drivers have been reminded to observe road safety rules and regulations to curb road crashes that often lead to death, injuries and loss of property.

The Superintendent of Police (SP) Abel Swai who is the Head of Traffic Police - Education Department, said that haulage trucks which in the year 2017 alone caused a total of 607 crashes, and killed 416 people countrywide, were to prioritize safety or else risk facing legal consequences.

“You must observe road signs, drive as per professional guidelines and requirements, and don’t load above the capacity of your vehicles,” SP Swai told drivers in Manyoni town of Singida Region, during a road safety field visit by journalists this weekend.

He went on to warn that not only truck drivers will face the wrath of the law when it comes to mechanically defect vehicles, but also their bosses who allow the vehicles to proceed with the journey without fulfilling their responsibility of ensuring use of safer vehicles.

“Some unfaithful drivers temper with some parts of the trucks such as the braking and fuel injection systems so that they can speed and save fuel, and in turn they end in fatal crashes.

“Some of unfaithful owners allow their trucks to embark on a journey knowingly that they have mechanical defects.

The good news is that police force is vigilant; they will be nabbed, detained, fined or charged before the court of law” He said that while truck owners had a responsibility of making sure that their employees are from time to time trained on new trends and safety measures, it was the drivers’ responsibility to adhere to professional ethics, including ensuring that they don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, fatigue and health complications.

Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) Program Officer, Ms Mercy Kessy said that TLS recommends that enforcement and penalties against road traffic offences be amended to not only punish, but also deter drivers from violating traffic rules.

She said that TLS also recommends that the Road Traffic Act should have provisions meant to address distracted driving, especially the use of mobile phones, which is increasingly emerging as one of the risk factors.

Pillar three of the UN Decade of Action on road safety 2011 – 2020 advocates addressing the need for improved vehicle safety by encouraging harmonization of relevant global standards and mechanisms to accelerate the uptake of new technologies which impact on safety.

It includes activities such as implementing new car assessment programmes so that consumers are aware of the safety performance of vehicles, and trying to ensure that all new motor vehicles are equipped with minimum safety features, such as seat belts.

Other activities covered include promoting more widespread use of crash avoidance technologies with proven effectiveness, such as electronic stability control and anti-lock braking systems.

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