Tanzania to install traffic surveillance cameras to rein in speeding drivers

What you need to know:

  • The government’s move aims at curbing road accidents that have been claiming lives of thousands of innocent Tanzanians, leaving several others wounded annually

Dar es Salaam. The government is looking for a contractor to install traffic and highways surveillance cameras along major roads in Dar es Salaam and Morogoro regions to monitor and identify speeding vehicles.

The government’s move aims at curbing road accidents that have been claiming lives of thousands of innocent Tanzanians, leaving several others wounded annually.

Statistics show that between January and November 2022, traffic accidents resulted in a total of 886 fatalities and 573 injuries.

Last year, the Tanzanian Traffic Police recorded 1,422 accidents between January and November, which was an increase of 245 accidents compared to 1,177 incidents lodged between January and August 2022.

During a meeting in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, in August of last year, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Camillius Wambura informed senior police officers that the number of road accidents had increased by 11.3 percent from 858 incidents reported between January and June of 2021 to 955 incidents reported during the same period in 2022.

However, at the weekend, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Meloe Buzana said the cameras will be installed shortly after the contractor (local or foreign) has been found.

Mr Buzana was speaking at a ceremony to present computers and flat-screen televisions to the Tanzanian Traffic Police, which were donated by the Land Transport Regulation Authority (Latra).

According to ACP Buzana, both domestic and international contractors have shown interest in doing the job.

“We are currently analysing the applications to find the best agency with dependable facilities and favourable terms,” he said.

Regarding donated equipment, Mr Buzana said they are going to boost efficiency in their work, hinting that they will be installed in Dar es Salaam and Morogoro.

He claimed that the Tanzania Traffic Police has been vigilant in looking for and punishing irresponsible drivers and anyone who break the rules and that the cameras will increase efficiency.

In addition, a digital app has been created and will be used to disclose details of bus drivers who interfere with vehicle tracking systems (VTS), according to Latra director general Habibu Suluo.

According to him, traffic officers have been trained on how to use the app, which will essentially reduce the number of traffic officials on the roads.

“In order to identify bus drivers,” he said, “we are currently working on connecting them to the app using their cell phones and their national ID numbers.”

According to him, VTS was created to increase the efficiency and reliability of road transport while ensuring the safety of passengers.

However, he said some unscrupulous bus drivers have been collaborating with tech experts to interfere with the installed VTS, noting that tampering with the system makes it difficult for authorities to perform the intended monitoring roles.

Latra board chairman, Prof Ahmed Mohamed Ame, said the safety cameras will reduce road accidents that have claimed a number of lives.