On the occasion of United Nation Road Safety Week (08/05 – 14/05/2017) with the theme of “Save Lives: #SlowDown” TAMWA joins with all Tanzanians and road safety stake holders to call for government reforms of the road safety legal and policy environment in the country specifically the Road Traffic Act of 1973.
The reforms should address identified risk factors in road safety which is not well addressed in our current law, therefore over speeding, drinking and driving, non use of seat belts, helmets and child restraints continue to be major causes of deaths and severe injuries.
TAMWA calls for stronger road safety laws as a matter of urgency given the number of road crash deaths which occur at an alarming rate in the country.
As we commemorate the 4th United Nations global road safety week we have continued witnessing number of road crashes which have taken lives of our loved ones, this trace us back to the fatal crash happened last week on May 6, 2017 in Arusha resulting to the death of 32 pupils, two teachers and a driver .
According to Tanzania human rights report of 2016, road crashes showed a slight decrease in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. A total of 5,152 crashes were reported to the police from January to June 2016. However, statistics show that average of 3000 lives are lost each year to road crashes. Globally, every year 1.25 million people die due to road crashes. Additionally 20 and 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury.
By adopting and enforcing good road safety laws, Tanzania can significantly reduce the road carnage and the emotional and economic toll these deaths and injuries take on families.
TAMWA realises that a lot of women and children bear the brunt of road crashes, although data on direct victims of road safety shows that men are the most affected. In actual fact women and children are strongly affected through loss of income and the need to care for seriously injured family members. By strengthening road safety laws for all road users, we can help to make our villages, towns and cities safe. Every action we take, as drivers or as passengers, can change the outcome of a journey and the future of families.
Edda Sanga, Executive Director of TAMWA stated “The United Nations and the World Health Organization acknowledge that strong road safety laws are effective in reducing the number of people killed on our roads. Tanzania must have strong road safety laws to stop this public health crisis. Also in the last three years, 17 countries representing 409 million people have amended their laws on one or more key risk factors for traffic injuries to bring them into line with best practice, Tanzania is not one of them. It is time for Tanzania to take the action”.