A NATIONAL Road Safety Agency that would among other things issue driving licences instead of the police force is in its final stages of formation. Already an interim road safety agency has been established in Dar es Salaam in readiness for the establishment of the permanent agency in February 2010. The establishment of the agency comes after the completion of the National Road Safety Policy which has identified measures to overhaul the transport sector and curb increasing road accidents. Sources in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development have revealed that funds are being sourced for the new office. To start with, the World Bank has pledged to contribute about 5bn/- while other donors are set to announce their various pledges. The policy has further recommended the phasing out of the existing National Road Safety Council by next December. The new policy, a copy of which is now available at the ministry and already distributed to other ministries, government departments and agencies, various stakeholders and development partners, has put road safety high on the national agenda. According to the policy, driving licences and inspection of vehicles will be manned by the new agency, which may appoint private companies to undertake the activities under its direct supervision. At present, the Traffic Police Department and vehicle inspectors function as both driving examiners and vehicle inspectors although the functions are two different things with differing skill requirements. The mix of powers and functions contributes to an unstable situation whereby the same institution on one hand tests drivers before they are issued with driving licences and on the other hand monitors the violations made by the same drivers, the policy reads further. That confusion, the policy points out, leads to a situation where the same institution in reality monitors its own deeds, which is contrary to all established principles of separation between regulatory and executive powers. A senior official at the ministry told the 'Daily News' that the process for the companies to tender for the vehicle inspection work had been advertised. However, progress has been stalled due to the need to first educate stakeholders on the new move. Since the new policy is ready, things will now gradually take a new shape -- and many changes are soon coming. However, education to the public on the new policy and other changes is a must, the official said. Source Daily News=24th December 2009 Nadhani Rushwa za Leseni, Udhibitiwa Leseni na Ajali na mambo yanayozunguka usalama wa wadau wote vitapewa kipaumbele!