A thought for long-distance drivers


  • It’s our responsibility to ensure that drivers who drive us are competent and well-rested drivers to ensure the safety of all road users

I commit to being a better driver and a better person every time I am behind the wheel, both in words and deeds. It would be fantastic if every driver embraced this mantra, as it would go a long way toward reducing road accidents in Tanzania.

We may not like this, but it’s a sad reality that road safety is a matter of life and death that affects us all. Across the globe, millions of people lose their lives or suffer injuries due to road accidents. Sadly, many of these tragedies happen in developing countries.

In Tanzania, road accidents claim thousands of lives annually. It leaves families devastated and communities shattered. We must act urgently to make our roads safer and prevent such a heart-wrenching loss of our loved ones.

Our Prime Minister, Hon. Kassim Majaliwa, has warned transportation companies against allowing a single driver to operate long-distance passenger buses like those from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam.

This statement underscores the critical need for strict regulations and enforcement in the transportation sector to ensure the safety of passengers and road users alike. We must do everything possible, within our power, to prevent accidents and protect precious human lives.

Long-distance driving is an arduous task that demands immense physical and mental strength. Covering vast distances like drivers who drive from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam is highly tiring, leading to fatigue and human error, which can cause fatal accidents.

Note that road accidents can direct cause loss of people’s lives, injuries and permanent disabilities, as well as destruction of properties. Indirectly, road accidents increases dependence (to those disabled), and poverty as a whole.

It’s our responsibility to ensure that drivers who drive us are competent and well-rested drivers to ensure the safety of all road users.

To prevent further loss of life, we must prioritise road safety and take all the necessary steps to make it a top priority for our nation.

Sadly, some transportation companies prioritise profits over the safety of their passengers by compromising safety measures.

Overworking drivers work to meet unrealistic schedules, which can result in devastating consequences, posing risks to the drivers’ health and safety and endangering the lives of passengers and other road users.

To prevent accidents and fatalities, all transportation companies ensure their employees have the necessary resources, equipment, and training to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

Proper equipment, such as hats and shade, as suggested by Twitter user Price Anchoring, can improve the working conditions of those who work under the sun and minimize the risk of heat exhaustion.

However, ensuring road safety doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of companies; road users also play a vital role in preventing accidents.

All drivers must comply with traffic laws and regulations; avoid dangerous driving habits like speeding, driving while using phones, driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and distracted driving. Regular maintenance and servicing of our vehicles to ensure road worthiness are also crucial in ensuring safety.

Road users exercise caution while crossing the road, using designated pedestrian crossings when available, and avoiding walking or standing on the road unnecessarily.

Using mobile phones while walking on the road can also cause significant distractions that could lead to accidents.

During this road safety week, let us pledge to prioritise safety over convenience when driving or walking along the roads.

As individuals, we can educate ourselves and others on road safety, participate in road safety campaigns, and raise awareness about the importance of road safety.

Governments and regulatory bodies should invest in improving infrastructure, such as roads and streetlights, and increase the enforcement of traffic laws and regulations.

Taking a collaborative approach to road safety, with companies, road users, and government agencies working together, is vital to make our roads safer.