Devil-may-care drivers have penalties coming


ROGUE drivers who flout the Highway Code with impunity will now face the wrath of the law. The Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Fortunatus Musilimu, has said that the Police Force will not tolerate the ill conduct of drivers who often cause accidents.

Mr Musilimu is concerned that some unruly drivers disregard traffic rules and regulations causing mayhem on the roads. These errant drivers, he says, are the main cause of numerous road accidents some of which have taken the lives of children.

It is these devil-may-care drivers who endanger the lives of pedestrians and other road users including fellow motor vehicle drivers, he says. What is in progress now is a much stricter crackdown of traffic offenders, according to Mr Musilimu.

It is imperative to point out here that some of the drivers, especially those who have never had driving lessons and do not possess driving licences, do not respect the Highway Code.

The Highway Code is the set of rules and pieces of advice on how to use roads. These are based on road traffic law and good driving practice.

Unfortunately, too many drivers do not even know what is entailed in the code. So, some drive at frightening speeds, even when travelling on the worst roads. Many of them hardly know what the roadside traffic signs require.

And there are those who can hardly read or write. Some drive under the influence of alcohol.

Some drivers behave like maniacs when handling motor vehicles. Dar es Salaam, arguably, has the most offensive motor vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders, especially the notorious boda boda outfit.

In fact, road accidents are now a canker that appears to defy State intervention. In yesteryears this nation saw the worst road carnage on highways, a situation that prompted calls for speed governors on passenger busses.

The Dar es Salaam Road Safety Board offered free education on traffic rules for drivers and motorcycle riders in a quest to curb accidents.

This move took many people aback for, it came to light that most drivers did not even bother to acquire driving licences. Well, not much has changed since that time. In Dar es Salaam, boda boda riders are the most notorious for flouting the Highway Code.

These villains often ride at break-neck speed, refuse to stop at red lights and often commit punishable misdemeanors even in the presence of a team of traffic officers.

Most such offences are readily seen during the rush hours. It is high time the rot was stemmed.

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