Jul 5, 2010, 2:32 PM
The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia, in collaboration with the Gambia Red Cross Youth Commission on Saturday June 19th began commemorating the Global Road Safety Week on the theme 'Unite for road safety.'
The Youth Parliament led campaign began with an opening ceremony held at West Field Junction.
Addressing activists at the ceremony, the Speaker of Banjul Youth Parliament Honourable Ousman Conteh said that the World Health Organisation reports indicated that everyday, more than three thousand lives are abruptly taken as a result of road traffic crashes, while many more survive but are left with life-changing injures.
According to him, many youths have suffered from the scourge of road accident and as a responsible youth organisation this is a concern to them.
"Anything that undermines the development of young people is indeed our concern," he said. He thanked Elton Oil Company for supporting the road safety campaign.
OJ Jallow of the Gambia Red Cross Youth Commission said that they want to translate their ideas into action, thus the reason of taking into the streets. Road safety, he maintained, is everybody's business. "We want to make our roads safer for all road users," he stated.
For his part, Mr. Momodou Senghore of the National Road Authority who represented the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure called for more people and institutions to partake in the crusade. "The need to regulate motor movement is now a priority in The Gambia," he noted.
Deputising for the Inspector General of Police, Inspector Musa Sanyang, Officer Commanding Traffic applauded the young people for the initiative. He said enforcing traffic laws is a priority mandate to the police.
He challenged the drivers to always obey the traffic regulations and to keep the vehicles in good condition at all times.
Awa Jassey of Elton expressed their honour in sponsoring the road safety campaign. She informed the participants of Elton sponsored famous radio talk show, aired on West Coast Radio known as Driver-Bi also aimed at sensitising all road users on traffic regulations. She said that all these interventions form part of Elton's social corporate responsibility.
Speaking earlier, Honourable Maimuna Sarr Speaker of the Youth Parliament urged young people to be always conscious of their lives. She said the rate at which road accidents increases nowadays is alarming. "For the drivers, you need to keep your wipers and tires in good condition," she urged. She believes that most of the road traffic accidents that occur are largely due to reckless and careless driving. "This is a day that I cherish most for the fact that it involves the lives of young people," said Mr. Marcel Mendy, the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council. He advised the participants to be disciplined throughout the campaign, hence they would come across all kind of people. He used the forum to encourage the private sector, in particular to invest more in youth development.
After the ceremony, campaigners proceeded with the distribution of flyers, T-shirts and stickers to drivers along Banjul-Serre Kunda highway and other major roads in the Greater Banjul Area.