The inspection which was led by new regional police commander Urlich Matei sought to examine road worthiness of vehicles and fitness of drivers following recent flurry of road accidents that have killed 25 people in the region within one month.
Matei led a team of vehicle inspectors to the city’s main bus terminal in the wee hours and ordered the drivers, some of who were ready to hit the highways to other regions including Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Arusha, to wait until the inspection was complete.
Apart from valid licences, drivers were taken through alcohol blow breathalyser test and those who were found with unauthorised amount of alcohol in the system were ordered to call for replacement by sober ones.
Speaking after the exercise, Matei said the exercise was a continuous exercise to ensure sanity is restored on the roads to avoid accidents.
“All drivers of public service vehicles should avoid taking alcohol while on duty and all vehicles must be fully serviced before starting the journey,” he announced.
SACP Matei who was RPC for Morogoro was transferred to Mbeya early last week after Inspector General of Police (IGP), Simon Sirro reshuffled a number of regional police commander postings.
The changes came one day after President John Magufuli said he was sick and tired of writing endless messages of condolences due to recurrent deadly road accidents. He mentioned Mbeya as notorious for road crashes.
Matei replaced former RPC Mussa Athuman Taibu who was sent back to Police Headquarters in Dar es Salaam in the reshuffle.
Government leaders, clerics and traditional leaders in Mbeya held a meeting with the regional commissioner Amos Makalla and agreed to hold a joint prayer in another effort to end road accidents in the region.
The joint prayer has been slated for this Saturday at the CCM Ruanda Nzovwe grounds to dispel the adamant spirit of death after a series of road accidents killed 45 people in one month.
The latest accident in Mbeya claimed the lives of five people two weeks ago at the notorious black spot—the Mbalizi slopes—after a loaded truck rammed into a Noah van.