SLRTA engages youths on road safety
The Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA), in collaboration with the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL), has Thursday, October 3 schooled a large number of CCSL youths on the essence of road safety management.
Speaking to the young people at the CCSL office at King Herman Road in Freetown, the Director of Safety of the SLRTA, Mr. Bouba Amara, said the lecture was an exercise that is undertaken regularly since they were operating with various stakeholders.
Describing young people as basic tools for passing relevant information, he said he was very happy to have been able to access young people to such an important programme.
He disclosed that their main function is road safety which he said had been controlled by the Police in the past. He stated that the main function the Police were performing in this undertaking was the issuance of licenses to drivers which was not enough to ensure road safety.
He further intimated that road safety in Sierra Leone has become so paramount because statistics have proved that the negligence of road safety is the major and leading cause of deaths of people through road traffic accidents.
Mr. Amara reaffirmed that every year in the West Africa sub-region, about close to million people die as a result of road accidents. He described stakeholders like the Sierra Leone Drivers Union, the Bike Riders Association, among others as important partners in combating rampant road accidents and ensuring road safety in the country.
He emphasized on the dangers of overloading and stressed the essence of using seat belts and crash helmets which he said hold passengers firmly in their seats and protect them in times of crashes.
He observed that about seventy of bike riders do not use crash helmets which he said was a major cause of deaths during accidents.
He frowned at lawlessness among drivers, bike riders, pedestrians and other road users, promising that they intend to tackle it and put to an end to it. He urged young people to be agents of the change of attitude in using the roads.
He said that as an institution they intend to reduce road traffic crashes to fifty percent within five years and get them eliminated within the next ten years.
He concluded that the roads in the country are designed for left hand drive and not right hand vehicles, maintaining that all vehicles come into the country must take a temporary permit before they will be allowed to ply the streets.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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