Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Motorists: Police are a cause of traffic jam in Dar city
SOME Dar es Salaam city drivers have faulted the role of police of directing vehicles at a junction saying that it sometimes contributes to a certain extent the long tiresome traffic jam on the road. Most interviewed drivers have preferred to be directed by traffic lights alone instead of policemen manned at a junction whom they complain of favouring one side of traffic flow an aspect which they have noted to be causing long queue. Johnson Thomas, a taxi driver in the city said that, traffic police officers who are normally manned at a junction of the road, have become a nuisance as they have been favouring one side of the traffic flow for long and ignore the other sides. He is on the view of the fact that, to ease the congestion traffic police manned at the junction should be removed and leaves the area to be directed by traffic lights alone. However, he said adding that, police officers should be manned at a respective places incase of emergencies and not otherwise. According to him, traffic police officers should play the role of monitoring the movements of drivers whose vehicles tend to flout road signs and drive along service roads and through the pedestrians’ walkways. Unlike at the moment, investigations by this paper has discovered that, traffic police manned at the junction of a road do not follow the rule governing timeframe on the flow of vehicles in all sides equally. Instead, investigations by this paper has discovered that, most traffic policemen directing vehicles look at the side where there are so many vehicles and permit them without noticing that, other sides remains stranded for long waiting for their turn. Commenting over the issue, a city based road engineer Joel Mndembo said that, police do not follow the rule set for traffic lights according to how they have been designed to operate.
He says that, these have been designed to allow one side of the traffic flow for one minute keeping the same movement alternately in all sides of traffic flow, the system however lessens unnecessary timeframe for longer queue on the road. Drivers’ call has come amid problems currently emanating in most of the city’s main roads whereby there is a long queue of vehicles especially during morning and evening rushing hours which are caused primarily due to poor infrastructures which do not accommodate the number of vehicles. Contacted for comment over the issue, the head of traffic unit at police traffic headquarter in Dar es Salaam, ACP Mohammed Mpinga said yesterday in a telephone interview that, the current system used by the police of favouring one side traffic flow is quite unavoidable bearing the fact that, there are some urgent issues which have to be taken into account for priority. Admitting that the situation in the city is at times daunting, he said 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 busiest. “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 in terms of the weight of traffic on either side”, he said The move he said is to ease congestion of the vehicles flowing from one side basing on the economic factors and the urgency of the matter. For example, he indicated that, during the rushing hours there are many vehicles going to the city centre which have to be favoured at all costs. Likewise, in the evening the same should be applied and this is in addition to other emergencies whereby motorists in fire brigades, ambulances, military vans, prisons have to be flagged off with a green light upon reaching at a junction where congestion of vehicles occurs. He cited another factor basing on security reasons whenever there is a car procession of a high ranking government official or a visiting foreign head of state in the country, or a Presidential motorcade. These he said have no any means to avoid them in the city’s main roads.