The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has advised the government to set up mechanisms of reviewing speed limits with a view to ensuring safe driving and reduction of road accidents in the country.
“When road conditions change, there is need to alter the speed limit to match with the improvements or deteriorations,” said CAG, Ludovick Utouh, in his “Performance Audit Report on the Management of Traffic Inspections and Speed Limits in Tanzania.”
He explained that the method of altering the speed limit was important as it ensures that the roads are used in a safe manner.
CAG said the audit failed to get any evidence that the set speed limits in different roads have been altered to suit the changed conditions of the roads.
He said in certain areas, despite the fact that a number of accidents have occurred as a result of speeding, nothing has been done to ensure that speed limits are lowered and “in that sense reduce the extent of the problem as the traffic police would have been empowered to enforce the newly set speed limit.”
The only effort which is commonly taken is to install speed humps and bumps which have proved to be ineffective in certain areas according to the report.
The Ministry of Works, which is responsible for addressing issues of road safety in the country, needs to put in place well defined and coordinated system for data base necessary for reviewing the present speed limits and even setting new ones.
The audit uncovered weak coordination among different stakeholders who are responsible for providing the necessary information for the revision of speed limits in Tanzania, said the CAG.
“The current data provided by the police force on speed enforcement are not really acceptable to the Ministry. The underlying problem is the reliability of available data which is the most important input for the setting and reviewing of speed limits,” he added.
There was no visible effort taken by the ministry to address the problem and even communicate with the police force so that the information could be collected during the speed limit enforcement, he said, adding that collected data could be used to review speed limits and even become input for setting new ones.
For speed limits to be managed effectively, he said, it was important to ensure that road conditions are monitored.
“The ministry does not request for the data from the police and do not set the level of data quality necessary for them to use in their responsibility of reviewing speed limits periodically.
Similarly, the ministry does not maintain a data base for speeding problems in the country and no visible effort has been done to introduce a database,” he said.