We used to think that if we have good roads, the rate of accidents will be reduced. It has turned out that the better our roads have become, the more accidents. We think that the Government must look more seriously into this situation.
According to Victor Mengot, Road Safety Consultant at the World Bank, In 2015, “Road crashes/accidents killed an average of 16.25 people per month. This number increased to 28.5 people in 2016 and during the period of January – December 2016 about 343 people died due to road accidents with an additional 1,285 seriously injured while 2,960 sustained slight or minor injuries. With such grim statistics, there is no doubt that urgent action needs to be taken by the enforcement authorities. ”
Overspeeding and reckless driving seem to be one of the main reasons for these accidents. Drivers are taking advantage of the smooth state of our paved roads to speed way above limits and get into accidents. The speed is so excessive and the driving so reckless , with motorists overtaking at curves or hills that there is little margin of errors to prevent these crashes.
Another reason for the dangerously high rate of accidents in Sierra Leone is the poor state of vehicles with many having worn out tires that blow out and send the vehicles into tailspins and eventual somersaults or lacking tail lights to warn other motorists of their presence.
Last night, another set of young lives were needlessly lost near Fadugu when their vehicle hit a slow-moving trailer that allegedly had no tail lights. Dr. Sheku Kanneh, a lovable medical doctor and his driver perished in last night’s horrific accident.
We have had one too many of these motor vehicle fatalities .
Something has to be done and very speedily.
WE BRING YOU SOME OF THE COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK LAST NIGHT AND THIS MORNING
Ish Kelfallah Camara I believe that over 70% of deaths in Sierra Leone are avoidable or preventable if proper policies and mechanism. Very tragic!!
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Road Accidents in Africa deadlier than Ebola, Malaria and HIV/AIDS. The European Union has just published its figures for road accident fatalities. The average EU fatality is 51.5 deaths per 1 million people. The average number of road fatalities per 100 people in selected European Countries are Spain (3.65) UK (2.97) Germany (3.90) that compares with Sierra Leone (27.40) Nigeria (35.39 and Liberia (25.48) This is despite the fact that there are more cars in these countries. For example Britain has 35 million registered vehicle while Sierra Leone has about 200,00. Why are having this problem:
(1) Lack of proper system for checking the road worthiness of vehicles
(2) Badly designed roads especially in urban areas where no provision is made for pedestrians
(3) Inappropriate public transport provision especially the use of motorcycles as public transport
(4) Dysfunctional driver testing and licensing system
(5) Human behaviour – Road rage, driving under the influence and low use of seat belts.
We have a time bomb in our hands, the indiscipline commercial motorcycle riders plying our roads with names which instill fear in their users.For example Nigeria/Sierra Leone (Okada) Uganda/Kenya (Boda Boda) Cameroon (Bensikin). These riders account for a growing percentage of accidents in our continent to an extent that in some countries whole hospital wards are dedicated to their victims. Consider the strain imposed on our health services and economic cost such as loss of earnings and early deaths to our most productive citizens through untimely death.
In conclusion I will pose a question which I normally use in my Road Safety workshops. “How many of you will enter an aircraft knowing fully well that the pilot is not trained”?. None I suppose. But why do we allow untrained and unlicensed Drivers/Motorcycle riders to ply our roads and kill more people than ebola, malaria and HIV/AIDS? If you care about life let us start asking questions form our leaders about the deplorable state of our roads and a dysfunctional transport system