The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) has apprehended at least 257 vehicles for violating traffic regulations in a recent massive operation by the agency.
This was said by Sumatra officer in-charge for the eastern zone, Conrad Shio, yesterday when speaking to journalists on the agency’s latest crackdown on commuter-bus drivers jeopardising road safety rules.
“This exercise of vehicle inspection, especially in stubborn areas, is ongoing…it aims to deal with bus drivers violating road safety regulations such as taking unauthorised routes at dawn and at night,” he said.
Shio mentioned areas affected the most by the problem, as those served by buses using Nyerere, Morogoro, New Bagamoyo and Kilwa roads.
Other chronic problems being checked by Sumatra officials during the operation are drivers cutting authorised routes, as well as those charging beyond indicative fares at night and early in the morning.
“We have discovered that a lot of drivers do not have valid driving licenses, therefore we will not spare them at all,” stressed Shio.
He also informed that a team carrying out the inspection comprises officials from Sumatra and National Institute of Transport (NIT).
Clarifying on measures to be taken against those found defaulting traffic regulations, Shio said a six-month suspension will be slapped on each one of them.
“We will check the background of the vehicle and try to see if it has the history of violating road safety regulations and once proved, it will be suspended for a period of six months,” he stressed.
Shio advised commuter-bus owners to be very careful in counselling their drivers to strictly follow and obey road safety regulations because they are the ones who will be accountable for any wrongdoing.
“I call upon commuter-bus owners to strictly supervise their drivers because in case they are caught, they will have to bring the new driver’s contract with a letter bearing a commitment that the mistake won’t be repeated,” he explained.