85 Traffic Wardens Certified SLRSA Takes Road Safety Campaign to Mile 38
As part of its continued road safety campaign, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) on Friday 24th July, 2015 launched Operation Zero Tolerance to sensitize and encourage drivers and bike riders to insure and license their vehicles and motorbikes and to observe road safety.
Held at the Mile 38 Community Center, the event brought together major stakeholders who pledged their commitment to ensure that vehicles and passengers are safe on the road.
Mile 38 houses the main checkpoint leading to the provinces with a lot of unlicensed and uninsured vehicles plying the route daily.
SLRSA Public Relations Officer, Abdul Karim Dumbuya, who chaired the ceremony, revealed that the Authority has deployed Traffic Wardens across the country to complement the Sierra Leone Police Traffic Department as well as implement the Road Transport Authority (RTA) Act authorizing the Authority to continuously sensitize communities to ensure compliance with traffic rules.
The PRO recalled 17th December, 2014 when the Act transformed the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) to the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) to enhance and promote road safety highlighting that accidents have claimed and incapacitated several precious lives.
Abdul Karim Dumbuya continued that funds from licensed vehicles and motorcycles are used to construct roads and its paraphernalia for which he urged drivers and vehicle owners to comply by working with the authority to promote road safety.
Councilor Hassan Bomboli Kanu, on behalf of the Paramount Chief, said it is good to properly examine vehicles at the checkpoint to ensure compliance with road traffic rules and pledged support and readiness to work with the SLRSA at all times.
The Acting National Traffic Coordinator, Superintendent Salifu Conteh, revealed that the police have injected new blood into the checkpoint with more commitment to duty pointing out that all vehicles are now obliged to have a triangle reflector, spare tyre and equipment to service their vehicles in the case of breakdown.
He further highlighted the significance of the Mile 38 checkpoint for which it is incumbent on officers deployed there to be vigilant to ensure that they protect lives and property.
He added, “we don’t want to see overloaded vehicles and there are no sacred cows. We should ensure that 99% of vehicles going through this checkpoint are licensed and insured.”
Divisional Traffic Officer, Inspector Alfred Turay said road safety is his baby and therefore would do his best to ensure that road accidents are minimized drastically for which he admonished the community to join hands with the police to enhance a better life for the benefit of all.
Captain J.R. Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces called on passengers to comply with the checkpoint rules by going through the required Ebola screening process.
ASPs M. S. Kargbo and Patrick Smart both called for the provision of a crane for the immediate removal of vehicles involved in accidents and stationary vehicles to prevent obstruction and accidents along the main Waterloo-Masiaka Highway.
He also appealed to SLRSA to urge the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) and the Road Maintenance Fund to redo the zebra crossing, other road markings and erect road signs on the highway points to prevent accidents thus saving lives.
Komboh Koroma, Sierra Leone Motor Drivers’ Union Secretary General said that they are delighted that the SLRSA is providing services at the doorsteps of people and underscored the need for drivers to license and insure their vehicle as well as for owners to make certain that their vehicles are roadworthy and licensed before plying the roads.
He also called on Insurance Companies to activate their third party policy to cover drivers and stressed the need for the erection of road signs nationwide to guide drivers and pedestrians.
SLRSA Board Chairman, Reverend Michael Samura said the mandate of the institution is to ensure that all motorists and pedestrians are safe on the roads and stressed the need for road users to promote safety.
Reverend Michael Samura further pointed out that all vehicles must be thoroughly checked for road-worthiness revealing that they have signed an agreement with Total Petroleum Company to provide points in strategic locations for drivers to rest when tired.
Meanwhile, eighty-five (85) Traffic Warden Corps have completed a four-week refresher training course at the Armed Forces Training Centre, Benguma and certified on Friday 24th July, 2015.
SLRSA Human Resource Director, Joseph O. Dauda admonished the Traffic Wardens to live up to expectation as the credibility of the institution is in their hands in enforcing the rules and regulations of the Authority noting, “you will surely be rewarded for hard work for which I want to encourage you to be focused and determined.”
By Abdul R. Bedor Kamara
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