IGNORANCE among passengers of their rights and responsibilities remains one of the major setbacks in curbing road crash fatalities involving upcountry buses and other vehicles.
The Head of Legal Department at Traffic Police Headquarters, Superintendent of Police (SP), Deus Sokoni, said that sometimes it is not entirely the driver’s fault when crashes occur.
“At times it is the passengers who are at fault and this is caused due to ignorance when it comes to their duties and responsibilities, for example, when they observe an alarming situation such as speeding and decide to keep quiet about the predicament,” said SP Sokoni.
He observed that those passengers who resort to boarding an up country bus or any vehicle which is already full with all its seats occupied endanger their lives.
Equally, the passengers are exposing themselves to the risk of arriving to their destinations mentally and physically unfit, something which is bad for their health, much as they do not see it immediately.
SP Sokoni made the revelation during a field visit by journalists and police officers under the Road Safety Journalism Training Fellowship Programme (2019), from Dodoma City to Manyoni in Singida Region.
Among the components of the fellowship are media field visits whereby journalists get an opportunity to learn by vividly seeing how road traffic enforcers operate on the ground and be able to educate the public.
In Manyoni District, several trucks and buses crews were apprehended and fined after being found with various faults including speeding, technical defaults and overloading.
The Head of Legal Department confirmed that a bus with registration number T363 DCJ plying the Kahama to Dar es Salaam route, owned by Kisbo Safari was stopped and forced to park for close to 30 minutes for speeding.
He noted that the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) travelling schedule, indicated that the bus arrived well before the specified time. Such, according to him, meant that the bus at some point travelled at a much higher speed than the indicated which endangers the lives of the passengers using the vehicle.
“When these kinds of situations occur, we are forced to stop the buses for some time before they can continue with the trip at the specified time.
“You will hear passengers complaining that we are delaying them because they are not aware of their duties and the dangers, thus we take the initiative to educate both the drivers and passengers as well as reminding them of their responsibilities,” he added.