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New traffic laws in final stages as govt seeks to curb accidents

THE government is in the final stages of coming-up with new road traffic regulations, a vote which legally combines a number of hefty penalties purported to curb road accidents in the country.

Police lawyer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Deus Sokoni told Members of Parliament (MPs) here yesterday that the document which has been presented for cabinet decision, will respond to five basic sources of road crashes.

“The new law avails international standards recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Road Safety experts from within and outside the country,” he said during a consultation meeting with MPs supporting road safety.

The new proposed law which is expected to repeal the outdated Road Traffic Act of 1973 has approved WHO recommendations of alcohol content for drivers. While the existing law suggest 0.08 per cent, WHO proposes 0.05.

In addition, ASP Sokoni said the new law criminalises use of drugs including marijuana and related substances. It also introduces use of standard helmets for passenger and motorcycle riders as well as making it a compulsory requirement to all passengers to fasten their seatbelts. “We received a number of suggestions from both stakeholders including Taboa, Dacoboa and Tatoa.

Police resolved that the penalty for not fastening seat belt or using helmet will be paid by the passenger,” he said. “We want our laws to respond to decades-long standing concerns, meeting the current demands and more importantly, curb road accidents,” he noted.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety, Amb. Adadi Rajabu said it is time that “our laws become part of the collective solution to the road accidents problem.”

Tarime Urban MP (Chadema), Ms Ester Matiko, noted that it is imperative that the new law also seeks to strengthen local driving schools to ensure all graduates are competent drivers.

Special Seats MP (Chadema), Cecilia Pareso and Special Seats MP (CCM), Ms Rose Tweve, urged the police to capitalise on the use of social media to spread awareness over the new regulations

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