We’ve done a fair bit of travelling in the last few months which has inevitably meant seeing lots of police. We had some early not so good encounters with police in our first few months in Tanzania so we are generally pretty nervous about being pulled over by them. However, we have to be careful not to show it because being calm and happy is a sign of innocence. Also, the police may not be pulling you over because you’ve done something wrong! Here’s a list of the reasons we’ve discovered so far for why police might stop a car:
- they’re stopping all traffic so that a convoy of politicians can pass.
- for speeding – they have handheld radar guns and they’re pretty good at hiding around corners or in the places where road signs are ambiguous or non-existent.
- to check your license / registration / insurance
- to check your fire extinguisher (required) or your first aid kit
- to help someone else who is having car trouble
- to get a lift
- to say hello or ask where you’re going. On our return Arusha-Dodoma trip we were pulled over 4 times for this purpose.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.