Lapses In SLRTA Highlighted
This reporter has gathered that poor management of the Safety and Enforcement Department at the Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRTA) has led to the high-level of indiscipline, low morale, lack of monitoring of deployment areas among others between Traffic Warden Corps established to support SLRTA to enforce road traffic regulations and the police. (Photo: SLRTA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Bendu)
It was also discovered that the mandate of the Department has not been achieved due to the weak leadership of the Director, Bouba Amara.
Sources further revealed that some Traffic Wardens do not go to work regularly, abandon their deployment areas before time, not properly dressed, have confrontations among themselves and do not report for work on Saturdays and Sundays.
Furthermore, residents at Model Junction have noticed on several occasions that immediately the SLRTA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Bendu passes the area to go home, Traffic Wardens deployed in the area abandon their deployment until the next day and observers have attributed this high level of indiscipline to the lack of focus and poor leadership by the Director who does not monitor Traffic Wardens.
According to information, even though the Safety and Enforcement Director, Bouba Amara receives 15 gallons of fuel weekly, he is always seen at the SLRTA headquarters instead of in the field monitoring personnel or coordinating with the Sierra Leone Police to ensure road safety.
Even with the increase in road accidents nationwide, there are no proper records.
Also, the relationship between senior police officers in charge of traffic management and the wardens is not cordial.
It is open secret that on several occasions, Traffic Wardens quarrel with drivers for no just cause especially with regards the issuance of tickets, indiscriminate towing and clamping down of vehicles with the Director not addressing the issue.
SLRTA was established to among others contribute 85% to the Road Fund, the need for the Board to restructure the Safety and Enforcement Department to enhance efficiency even if it means recruiting experts.
Sources further state that Bouba Amara was recently questioned in a Board meeting for the dismal state of the Department for which he pleaded and pledged to enhance efficiency.
He is also accused of leaking vital information to the media as well as coordinating with Traffic Wardens for offenders of traffic rules to be released after negotiating with them to pay certain amounts thus depriving the State of much needed revenue.
The Director of Road Safety and Enforcement denied most of the allegations asserting that there is discipline within the Traffic Wardens Corps and that supervisors are assigned in all deployment areas adding, “some Traffic Wardens use political influence to evade discipline.”
He further intimated that Kambia District is the highest contributor to the Road Fund revealing that there are only 189 Traffic Wardens for a population of over 6 million, the reason they are only deployed in strategic areas of the country and affirmed, “I recently visited some deployment areas in the South and although there are lapses, I do not negotiate with Traffic Wardens or defaulters.”
In another development, even though SLRTA is always preaching about road safety, some of its vehicles are defective including the very vehicle used for road safety promotion- ACV 001 which does not have a fuel gauge and speed meter while ADM 777 has a damaged windscreen and is un-roadworthy. More details to follow.
By Abdul R. Bedor
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