Monday, May 9, 2016

DART warns drivers

THE Dar es Salaam Rapid Bus Transit (DART) Agency has warned drivers to make sure that they adhere to traffic laws and regulations to bring efficiency in running the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and avoid accidents. The stern warning comes at a time when the project is about to start in an interim period. Speaking to journalists over the weekend, the Agency’s Acting Chief Executive, Eng Ronald Lwakatare, said up to last Friday, there were 14 recorded accidents involving law breakers passing on the project’s trunk roads. “These accidents happened during this time when drivers are practicing ready for the commencement of the project,” he said. He noted that despite the ban on the use of the project’s roads, some drivers still use them during this practising period and cause operational challenges. Among the 14 accidents, nine of them were caused by motorcycles popularly known as bodaboda, four were caused by cars and one was caused by a pedestrian.

 He stressed a need for drivers to leave BRT roads for the buses and stick to roads designated for them. He also said since the BRT terminals are not meant for bodaboda riders, they should stop using them for taking and offloading their customers. Also, when crossing zebra areas, he said, bodaboda riders should first switch off their motorcycles. “The law prohibits a motorcycle rider to share zebra crossing with pedestrians while his engine is switched on,” he said. He said preparation for the project was going on well with drivers practising and technicians installing state-of- the-art fare charging machines. It is anticipated that by 2025, Dar es Salaam will have 11.5 million citizens and this, according to experts, calls for serious infrastructure improvement. Ongoing phase one works of the BRT project envisions reducing traffic jams and congestion at Dar es Salaam City. The first phase project includes construction of 20.9-kilometre special trunk road from Kimara terminal to Kivukoni area, Msimbazi road from Fire to Kariakoo-Gerezani area and a part of Kawawa Road from Magomeni to Morocco junction.

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