EDITORIAL: Monitor riders road stunts to save lives

Tanzania has recently noticed a spike in the number of social media posts featuring young people riding or wheelie-ing. PHOTO|FILE

Summary

  • The tragic death of a young but well-known stunt performer in Dar es Salaam in a car accident serves as a reminder of how perilous it is to perform stunts in prohibited locations.

Motorcycle stunt riding is gaining popularity in Tanzanian cities, but it is causing havoc for pedestrians and other road users. It is a sad reality that daredevil exploits performed by motorcyclists on the nation’s highways and service roads are quickly becoming a pastime, resulting in accidents and serious injuries.

Aside from stunts, roller-skating and dancing at major intersections are popular, exposing them to accidents and becoming a nuisance to the public. The tragic death of a young but well-known stunt performer in Dar es Salaam in a car accident serves as a reminder of how perilous it is to perform stunts in prohibited locations.

Young motorcycle riders on high-performance bikes, which allow them to undertake deadly feats, are mostly responsible for the current trend. However, even inexperienced motorcycle taxi drivers, the most of whom are in their twenties, emulate seasoned drivers in a variety of prohibited areas. Unfortunately, there is public support, which leads to certain hyped motorists overdoing their exploits. However, the end is invariably tragic. Highway stunts were prohibited for safety reasons, but it appears that the warning went unheeded. The majority of road users are irritated as the tendency continues.

Noise pollution is one of the many annoyances produced by such riders, who frequently have little regard for surrounding hospitals where patients require uninterrupted rest. Although the feats are popular, they should not be performed in situations where accidents are likely to occur or where silence is required. Law enforcement should step up and put a stop to this expanding trend, which is largely harmful to the majority. It is true that they are tough to control, but if they are not addressed, the nation should expect more accidents and many people suffering lifelong injuries. A significant proportion of workers will be killed in preventable accidents.

It is critical that law enforcement raise riders’ understanding of the implications of their acts. If they do not comply, the lawbreakers should be penalised significantly or arraigned. It is said that a stitch in time saves nine.