THE invention of road motor transport marked a turning point in the history of humanity as it went a long way in reducing the constraints of distance and time, when one travels from one point to another.
But, the need for speed to reduce the periods spent on the road fuelled the risk of accidents. Though improvements in the quality, performance, speed and other vehicle features are continually being made, the issue of safety remains a headache within the transport industry.
Despite all the road regulations, security features on vehicles, speed humps, vehicle inspections and above all the presence of policemen along the roads; no light seems to be shinning at the end of a dark tunnel.
Road accidents are continuing unabated as people continue to perish like poisoned cockroaches on our roads. To make matters worse, innocent blood is lost and in most cases as a result of negligence on the part of the drivers. Human error is said to be the major cause of accidents and tops among the list is speeding.
In Tanzania, despite the efforts by the government, especially through the police force, no permanent solution seems to be in sight as drivers’ defiance continues to reverse the gains of such campaigns. Long distance buses and public transport sector in the country is notorious for contributing a huge chunk of this social anomaly. And, this saw strict measures being put in place to cow the rowdy drivers and in the end significantly reducing the number of fatal accidents on our roads.
It is unfortunate, however, that at a time when the police were seemingly winning the war against horror crashes, Tanzania, yesterday woke up to shocking news that more than 35 pupils of Lucky Vincent English Medium Primary School of Kwa-Mrombo in Arusha, had perished in an early morning road accident, when their school bus plunged into the Marera Gorge in Karatu District.
The mini-bus, loaded with pupils and their teachers, had departed from Arusha City at around 7am going to Karatu Township where the pupils were supposed to participate in inter-school mock examinations with their Tumaini Primary School counterparts of Karatu District, before visiting Ngorongoro Crater.
It is unfortunate that the lives of these youngsters, the future generation, had to be cut short. Though investigations into the cause of the accident were still underway, it is difficult to rule out human error.
Though the police managed to put more stringent plans to control long distance buses, school buses seem to be a forgotten lot. More still needs to be done when it comes to regulating the operations of school buses to avoid overloading and use of vehicles that are in a sorry state.
Due diligence should be taken as not every scrapper can be taken for a school bus. Some school buses leave a lot to be desired and they need to be taken off the road.
It is time school authorities, parents and the police join forces in making sure that school children are safe on their way to and from school or other educational trips, to protect the future generation.