Oct 16, 2008, 5:12 AM
Two youth parliamentarians, namely Hon. Lamin K Saidy and Hon. Ousman Conteh, the Deputy Speaker of the National Youths Parliament of The Gambia and Speaker of Banjul Youth Parliament, respectively have spoken on the dangers of road accidents.
The young parliamentarians were speaking recently during road safety sensitisation forum, organised by the youth parliament.
According to Hon Lamin K Saidy, "road traffic crashes kill 1.2 million people each year and injure millions more, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries."
Noting that The Gambia is no exception, he said, every day over 1000 young people under the age of 25 years are killed in road traffic crashes around the world.
He lamented that in recent times there have been a series of fatal and tragic road accidents in the country.
"Most of the victims on the crashes are young people, Therefore if no drastic action is taken the trend could seriously affect the socio-economic development of the country, in which our young people play a pivotal role in its process," he said.
"The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia has been an advocacy network of young people to provide them with information and build their capacity to be able to contribute to the advancement of The Gambia. It has made a landmark achievement on road safety promotion in The Gambia, including advocacy for the enactment of Motor Traffic Amendment Act 2008, which requires a compulsory use of seatbelt and no use of mobile phone, while driving, youth forum on road safety, media sensitisation and integrational dialogues with stakeholders on road safety," he stated.
For his part, the Speaker of Banjul Youth Parliament, Hon Ousman Conteh also disclosed that it is unfortunate that the absence of any adequate data on traffic accidents in The Gambia and its impact on the socio-economic development does not necessarily mean they are exempted or free of accident.
Hon Conateh however revealed that road traffic accidents are 2nd leading causes of death among young people aged between 1 and 25 years, adding that it kills 1.2 million people and disable 5-0 million, up to 90% of whom are youths of the economically active age group.
He noted that the sub Saharan Africa remains the most vulnerable and The Gambia is no exception.
He then challenged the authorities to act diligently in addressing the menace of road accidents.