Dar es Salaam. As the end-year festive season gears up, authorities temporarily stopped at the Ubungo Bus Terminal24 up-country buses of different companies from travelling unless owners fixed some issues.
The inspection, conducted by traffic police in collaboration with the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra), noted that the 24 buses had a number of problems including in their break systems, ball joints and aged tires, hence endangering lives of passengers.
Speaking to The Citizen on Wednesday, December 12 at the terminal, the head of inspection, Mr Ibrahim Samwix, said they inspect buses for three reasons which are buses being fixed with the tracking system contrary to road safety.
Other reasons are such that mechanics who work with some buses are not competent enough to efficiently undertake their duties, and, lacking key items as per the roads regulations.
"One of the factors that cause accidents is how a vehicle is maintained; it is not so much about speeding. If a bus is in a good condition, and if the driver is driving within the acceptable speed limit, there’s no way an accident will occur,” he said.
He added: "The car system has been fixed to control human error that is why we inspect various systems including tires, breaks and how the general condition of the vehicle."
Also he revealed that police were holding a driver from Otta Company that plies between Dar es Salaam and Mbeya for lying about the condition of the bus.
A passenger who identified herself as Leticia Rweganwa said: "We’re pleased with this exercise of vehicle inspection. It should be a daily routine instead of just waiting for end of the year season. The bus I was use was one of those that were found with problems. I’ve informed my relatives about the delay.”
"It's better to arrive late but safely. I’m not afraid of getting home later. I congratulate the police and Sumatra for the efforts they are making,” said another passenger Ally Abdallah.