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SLRTA partners with SLRCS to enhance road safety

SLRTA partners with SLRCS to enhance road safety

The Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) on Tuesday 1st July, 2014 held a stakeholders’ meeting on the use of First Aid in the Transport Sector to enhance road safety as road accidents have claimed several precious lives and incapacitated others.

The ceremony took place at the SLRTA lecture hall on Kissy Road in Freetown.

SLRCS Commercial First Aid Coordinator, Mariatu Roselyn Dumbuya disclosed that the partnership with SLRTA is to reduce deaths due to the lack of proper care for victims during accidents adding, “as a humanitarian organization, we thought it prudent to partner with the Authority to enhance road safety. Accidents cost lives and reduce business productivity. First aid can save lives and protects businesses and therefore the need to train workers on first aid treatment need not be overstated.”

Mariatu Roselyn Dumbuya further stated that a first aider should be a humanitarian in treating victims of road accidents before being taken to a hospital and underscored that all vehicles should have a first aid kit at the minimal cost of Le 80,000 informing that the cost includes training of drivers and their mates in the use of the kits.

He also urged all, “lets help ourselves to save lives as SLRCS is ready to give the technical support to SLRTA to enhance road safety. Furthermore, SLRCS has first aiders in all its thirteen operational areas nationwide.”

SLRTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu acclaimed SLRCS for the partnership taking cognizance of the high rate of road accidents in the country disclosing that this year’s theme: ‘Be a Life Saver Not a Life Destroyer’ is the collective responsibility of all.

He went on to state that SLRCS is joining the campaign to create impact to enhance pillar five: ‘Post Crash Response’ of the Road Safety pillar and informed that the global cost for first aid kits is Le 400,000 but that SLRCS has reduced the cost to Le.80, 000 and quoted Section 55, Sub-Section 6 of the SLRTA Act which mandates all vehicles to have onboard first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

Dr. Sarah Finda further stated that the Act, that has remained dormant for years due to the lack of training in the use of first aid kits, would be implemented to the latter disclosing that SLRTA would provide the training venues nationwide and maintained, “the more we train people, the more lives are saved.”

SLRTA’s Chief Executive Officer also admonished drivers, bike riders and road users not to run away from road accident victims but assist them by administering first aid and encouraged drivers and vehicle owners to undergo the training to save more lives.

President of the Commercial Motorbike Riders Union, David Sesay commended SLRTA for its proactive move to enhance road safety which he described as another milestone in the campaign to save lives.

Similar statements were made by representatives of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) among other stakeholders while the question and answer session climaxed the ceremony.

By Abdul R. Bedor Kamara

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