Monday, October 14, 2013

Irate passengers confronts traffic police in Dar

Being under uncontrollable temper, some passengers on Monday this week came into an open verbal conflict with a police officer at Ubungo traffic lights in Dar es Salaam protesting against unfair treatment while directing vehicles. The passengers who were travelling aboard a commuter bus plying between Temeke and Mwenge stations, accused the law enforcer deployed at the scene for being unfair of favoring one side traffic way. A spot check at the scene witnessed scores of furious passengers who had disembarked from their bus in which they were travelling and confronted a police officer who by then was busy directing vehicles with a view to enquire for what was wrong on their side which he had stayed for longer without permitting them. When they approached him for explanation and to their great dismay were surprised to see the officer gave no signs of response to their claims and instead continued with his work. On realizing of such misbehavior, distraught passengers shouted at him and the traffic officer who seemed unconcerned with their protests for a while, latter on discharged the detained one side of the traffic to flow.   “Ironically the traffic lights at every junction are treated equally with a span of timeframe which does not exceed one minute from every side irrespective of the direction from which a vehicle might be coming”. One unidentified passenger remarked, However, he wondered why there are lots of complaints at Ubungo traffic lights whereby passengers from Buguruni and those travelling from Mwenge are left stranded and not given special attention just like those from Kimara going to the city centre that he said is mostly favored. Preliminary investigation over the matter carried out by this paper in four days’ time up to yesterday has discovered that, this is a regular tendency being practiced by traffic police at the scene to favor one side traffic way. Investigations can reveal that, some traffic officers are sometimes abused by angry motorists for the habit which seems to be discriminative in nature that denies quick access to other vehicles. 

A traffic police at Ubungo traffic light directing vehicles from city centre.

The growing situation which has left most motorists driving along Sam Nunjoma and Nelson Mandela highways in dilemma has also created hatred between police and some motorists bearing the fact that, passengers becomes too bored while waiting for their turn. In an exclusive interview, some drivers have expressed their disappointment to the persisting habit saying it has extremely discouraged hem especially during peak hours as this is their most highly time of collecting money for their daily operations. Johnson Omido (32) a commuter bus driver playing between Mwenge and Gongo la Mboto has described the situation for being unfair treatment to business vehicles like commuter buses and taxis. He says time is an important aspect on the course of their operation and in view of this he has suggested that, traffic officers should be removed and leave the scene under the control of traffic lights alone which have been designed for the purpose intended. Omido is on the view of the fact that, incase traffic lights are left alone to control vehicles, then there would be a fair play to both sides of the road intersection Another driver John Mbande queried when interviewed and noted that, “This is not fair as we are all users of the road and deserve the same rights as per the regulations set, why favoring one side for long” Contacted for comments, the head of traffic unit at police traffic headquarter in Dar es Salaam, ACP Mohammed Mpinga said in a telephone interview that, the delays caused at Ubungo traffic lights is primarily due to many vehicles that moves out of the city centre. However, he accepted of the existing situation at Ubungo traffic light and noted that, the police have no alternative except to favour one side of the traffic in order to ease congestion that is likely to occur along the road which he said is the most busiest. However, he further said that, due to ineffective infrastructural upgrades, along the road traffic police officers have to be deployed to control vehicles at the scene for there are no special sensitive traffic lights to control vehicles. He has also called upon the government through the Ministry of Works in collaboration with Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) to make sure that, it wards off the existing disparities which he said is beyond police control. “We police force are to ensure the laws of the land are implemented” he said adding that, they would be happy to see that, there are the installation of sensitive traffic lights at the scene in order to allow more time to one side of the traffic.

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