Min. Of Transport On Road Safety Measures

 

By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

Speaking at the commissioning of the first National Road Safety Committee in Sierra Leone and the commemoration of 7th Africa Road Safety Week, recently, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Sadik Sillah has expressed the need for Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) to be part of the first national road safety committee with clearly defined rules and policies in a bid to regulate the type of vehicles entering the country.

Mr. Sillah averred that his Ministry will be working hand in gloves with SLPA to prohibit the importation of road unworthy vehicles into the country, adding that his Ministry intends to take robust measures to straighten the crooked system.

The Deputy Minister furthered that they will enforce rigid laws for corrupt officials who are using their offices to extort monies from the unsuspecting public much against the “New Direction” administration.

He implored owners of commercial vehicles to refrain from the habit of changing their seats in order to get more passengers, adding, that in the process, they risk the lives of passengers.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Works and Public Assets, Raymond De-Souza George stated that government is working towards minimizing the rate of premature deaths and disabilities that is caused by fatal road accident. He added that road safety management will be improved on and that new laws will be enacted and implemented.

The Minister added that Government will ensure safer and insured vehicles on the roads and at the same time, implement road users insurance scheme.

On his part, the SLRSA Board Chairman, Sheikh Bawoh said the road safety condition in the country is very poor and stressed the need for an urgent approach in that direction. The launching of the National Road Safety Committee, he said, is to regulate all road safety activities and also advise the government on road safety policies.

He called for an urgent collaboration in implementing the road safety plan that will lead to the enforcement of laws on road safety, road safety audit and change of attitude by road users.

The Deputy Leader of government business in Parliament, Hon. Mathew Nyuma said even though the country has road safety laws, yet they are not enforced. He said those who should enforce laws fail to do so which leads to the loss of lives, adding that good and safe roads can lead to economic development through market expansion. Parliament, he furthered, would ensure that its oversight committee on road monitoring continue with its works so as to save lives.

The occasion was chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Brima Kebbie.

Other eminent personalities including the Deputy Inspector General of Police, F.U.K Daboh, the Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owiz Koroma, Deputy Executive Director, SLRSA, Ibrahim Sannoh and representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO).