Rotary Club aids 'Driving + Phone = Death’ road campaign

Dar es Salaam’s Rotary Club, in collaboration with the police, has launched a road safety campaign, sensitizing motorists on the danger of using mobile phone while driving.
The campaign goes under the slogan ‘The President of Rotary club of Dar es Salaam Ms Sharmila Bhatt said the reason they launched the campaign was to create awareness about the chronic habit.

“It is known that a driver talking on a mobile is four times more likely to get an accident; and if you text while driving you are eight times more likely to cause an accident,” Ms Bhatt said on Monday in a statement.

The Traffic Police Chief, SACP Mohamed Mpinga, said legislation was being reviewed to criminalise the act of phoning or texting while driving.
“While legislation is being worked on, our utmost concern currently is to ensure that people drive safely. That is why we are working with Rotary club of Dar es Salaam to achieve the objective,” said the police chief. He added: “When a citizen is educated on the matter of safety, he generally responds positively rather than using laws to achieve compliance.”

The Minister for Transportation, Mr Omari Nundu, told parliament in Dodoma recently that a research conducted by SUMATRA between 2002 and 2010 had shown that the government lost 1.96trn/- as a result of road accidents. 

The amount was calculated based on damage on transport facilities and infrastructure, medical care to victims, monitoring, loss of manpower and cost of education provided.

The campaign is being supported by corporate companies and the Police force believes this sensitization campaign would assist in making Dar and upcountry roads very safe. Tanzania is among countries with high road fatality rates in Africa with records showing that almost 3,600 people died in road accidents and 20,000 were injured last year alone.

Road accidents do not only cost the country about 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product in economic loss, but are increasingly constraining the provision of healthcare and medical services.

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Its members are business leaders who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, among other activities.
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