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200 bus drivers have no contracts - expert

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Pdidy, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Pdidy

    Pdidy JF-Expert Member

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    Nov 29, 2009
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    200 bus drivers have no contracts - expert




    By Njonanje Samwel



    26th November 2009


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    Traffic Police Commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) James Kombe (2nd L) listens as a bus driver Sudi Hassan (standing) explains a point at a meeting of the association of truck and bus drivers in Dar es Salaam yesterday.



    Drivers of more than 200 newly registered upcountry buses have no valid employment contracts, a transport expert has said, attributing this to the persistence of road accidents.
    Despite a government order issued recently requiring all bus operators to employ their drivers by giving them signed contracts within six months, bus operators have not implemented the order, forcing drivers and contractors to work without employment contracts.
    Bus Drivers Association of Tanzania (BDAT) Board of Trustees Chairman, Chrizant Kibogoyo told a transport stakeholders meeting at the Ubungo Bus Terminal (UBT) in Dar es Salaam yesterday that most bus owners were reluctant to sign legal employment contracts fearing that they would incur huge operational costs.
    The meeting which was also attended by Traffic Police Chief, Commander James Kombe, and representatives from Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra), was convened to discuss, among other things, ways of reducing road accidents in the country.
    “Among the causes of road carnage is lack of formal permanent employment by most of the upcountry bus drivers. We carried out a simple study which revealed that more than 200 buses have not signed contracts with their employees,” said Kibogoyo.
    According to him, road accidents decreased since September this year when the association took a decision to deploy one traffic warden in every bus leaving the UBT, whose role has been to monitor and ensure safe driving of the buses up to their required destinations.
    “The move has helped reduce road carnage since the wardens have been helping in areas where regular traffic police are not present,” he added.
    For his part, Chairman of BDAT also known in Kiswahili acronym as ‘Umoja Wa Madereva wa Mabasi Tanzania’ (UWAMADA), Juma Sarakana, said bus owners were to blame for drivers’ recklessness and speeding which were the main cause of road accidents.
    According to him, the drivers are forced by their bosses to drive at high speed so as to be able to make more trips and therefore, more profits without considering the plight of passengers.
    “More should be done to educate bus owners on the importance of obeying safe driving regulations and not just strive for extra profits. This will help reduce accidents as drivers will work without undue pressure,” he added.
    Speaking at the meeting, Traffic Chief, Commander James Kombe said he was disturbed by low attendance of bus owners at the crucial meeting. Only five bus owners were present.
    Kombe said bus owners were an integral part in solving the problem of road accidents.
    He said that plans were underway by the police force to mount a massive crackdown on speeding to reduce accidents.
    According to him, the move will go in tandem with the introduction of Traffic Road Marshall whose role will be to assist in reducing reckless driving especially in places where regular traffic police are not present.
    Sumatra Eastern Zone Officer In-charge, Walukani Ruhamba called on bus drivers to be active and demand from their employers legally binding employment contracts so that they too can enjoy terminal and other related benefits when they are terminated from work.
    According to him, the move will also stop them from further oppression by some of the bus owners who had a negative perception of driving as being not profession worth formal employment.
    “Sumatra in collaboration with labour office is organizing this exercise of ensuring that all bus drivers have recognized employment,” he said, stressing that passenger buses without legally employed drivers would not be registered.
    Fatal road accidents are rife in Tanzania which was recently officially ranked among countries with the world's deadliest roads. This prompted UN health chiefs to urge the Government to tighten road safety laws.
    The Global Status Report on Road Safety, released recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), showed that road users in Tanzania were more likely to be killed than in many other countries.
    According to the new report, the number of vulnerable road users being killed in the country is worryingly high, and pedestrians constitute 37 per cent of casualties.
    Deaths by road user category in the country include motor vehicle passengers (33 per cent), cyclists (17 per cent), motorbike/Bajaj riders (7 per cent) and motor vehicle drivers (6 per cent).
    The report reveals that 34.3 for every 100,000 people were killed on roads in Tanzania in 2007. This is a dismal record compared to neighbouring countries of Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Kiswahili acronym as Umoja Wa Madereva wa Mabasi Tanzania (UWAMADA), Juma Sarakana, said bus owners were to blame for drivers’ recklessness and speeding which were the main cause of road accidents.
    According to him, the drivers are forced by their bosses to drive at high speed so as to be able to make more trips and therefore more profit without considering the plight of passengers.
    “More should be done to educate bus owners on the importance of obeying safe driving regulations and not just strive for extra profits. This will help reduce accidents as drivers will work without undue pressure,” he added.
    Speaking at the meeting, Traffic Chief, Commander James Kombe said he was disturbed by low attendance of bus owners at the crucial meeting. Only five bus owners were present.
    Kombe said bus owners were an integral part in solving the problem of road accidents.
    He said that plans were underway by the police force to mount a massive crackdown on speeding to reduce accidents.
    According to him, the move will go in tandem with the introduction of Traffic Road Marshall whose role will be to assist in reducing reckless driving especially in places where regular traffic police are not a present.
    Sumatra Eastern Zone Officer In-charge, Walukani Ruhamba called on bus drivers to be active and demand from their employers legally binding employment contracts so that they too can enjoy terminal and other related benefits when they are terminated from work.
    According to him, the move will also stop them from further oppression by some of the bus owners who had a negative perception of driving as being not profession worth formal employment.
    “Sumatra in collaboration with labour office is organizing this exercise of ensuring that all bus drivers have recognized employment,” he said, stressing that passenger buses without legally employed drivers would not be registered.
    Fatal road accidents are rife in Tanzania which was recently officially ranked among countries with the world's deadliest roads. This prompted UN health chiefs to urge the Government to tighten road safety laws.
    The Global Status Report on Road Safety, released recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), showed that road users in Tanzania were more likely to be killed than in many other countries.
    According to the new report, the number of vulnerable road users being killed in the country is worryingly high, and pedestrians constitute 37 per cent of casualties.
    Deaths
     
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