Road safety stakeholders propose on how to reduce road accidents

19Sep 2019
James Kandoya
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Road safety stakeholders propose on how to reduce road accidents

STAKEHOLDERS on road safety have recommended the use of safety approach system in which all causes of accidents namely human errors, poor vehicles and poor infrastructure share responsibility outcomes in improving road safety in the country.

A professional officer from the World Health Organization (WHO) country office Mary Kessy said in an interview with The Guardian at the weekend that under the system approach, all system designers share the responsibility for road safety outcomes.

The system designers include planners, engineers, parents, policy makers, enforcement officers, educators, utility providers, insurers, vehicle manufacturers and importers, the media, fleet managers and many more.

Kessy said it was the most effective way of considering and responding to fatal and serious casualty crash risks on a network.

She said although a number of issues had been implemented including construction of road infrastructure, collectively responsibility was much preferred instead of dealing on single entity.

According to her, it was an inclusive approach that caters for all groups using the road system, including drivers, motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and commercial and heavy vehicle drivers.

Besides that, Kessy said the approach provides a set of design and operating principles to guide action on the journey to the long term elimination goal.

“The prime responsibility of a road authority and other agencies is to support road users to reach the end of their trips safely. On so doing we can be protecting the people wellbeing, “she said.

In the same vein, the advocate of high court, John Seka said road crashes is violation of human rights and it was against the section Article 8 (b) 1 of the Constitutional of the United Republic in Tanzania, 1977.

The above article among others emphasized the wellbeing of people which is also pointed out in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG’s), goal 3-Good health and Wellbeing.

 “The system approach among others insists on the mutual responsibility of stakeholders instead of blaming each other. Poor infrastructure is just one part., ” he said.

A Member of Parliament for Dodoma ,Special seat(CCM) Fatma Tawfiq said a lot had been done in terms  of infrastructure development since the government assumed power four years ago.

But, there was a need to deal with multiple issues to deal with road safety issues instead dealing with of one issue.

“The government has done more to ensure the country is networked with roads from all corners which according to WHO contributes to 8 percent of all accidents, ”she said.

The legislators added that  safe System approach compels system designers to provide an safe environment, and to consider the combined system as the major factor in crashes rather than the traditional approach that placed most responsibility for safety on the road user”, she said

Tawfiq, who is a Member of Network of Road Safety Legislators in Tanzania, noted that the system design and operation must become forgiving of routine human (road user) error.

It has become the normal routine for politicians and central government leaders during the electoral campaign to promise the voters that they would improve infrastructure if elected into power.

But, sometimes their promises were not put in place and therefore leave the voters in a dilemma and even the dormant poor road contributes to accidents.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), poor road infrastructure contributes to 8 percent of road accidents and therefore threatens the people wellbeing which is against the Article 8 (b) 1 of the Constitutional of the United Republic in Tanzania, 1977.

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