During this period, many communities across the country would gathered to observe either Christmas or end of year fest with much fun and fanfare. As seen in our religious coexistence, in December both Muslims and Christmas would come together and celebrate the fest in peace and harmony.
But it is also a time when the country records most accidents in the year. Recently, a driver said to be driving at top speed rammed into a crowd in Jagil, Foni, killing five people and injuring over a dozen. The accident happen at a time when youths in that community where out and about in their Christmas street carnival parade.
This accident could have been avoided if the driver was not driving at top speed as alluded to by many.
Drivers need to be cautioned to ensure that they observe speed limits, employ due care and attention while driving at all times. They should also bear in mind that speeding is even against the Motor Traffic Act and Regulations and even runs contrary to the laws of The Gambia.
We have seen instances when passengers and drivers would get embroiled in verbal exchange just for telling the driver to slow down.
Police need to intensify their street patrols during this festive mood, as December is a period synonymous with large crowds patrolling the streets in major centres and even small settlements in observance of end of year festivities.
We are not trying to remind the police of their work, but this a time when people’s lives and even safety of their properties matter.
Gone are the days when Christmas and New Year fests are confined to only urban centres. Today, even remotest parts of The Gambia do organised street festivals or street carnivals, as many would call it. In this, children and even adults would form a procession along major streets with PA sound system attached to a car.
However, the surge in the number of road accidents off recent years is alarming. In some instances, the general public pointed fingers or fault the police for issuing driver’s licence to people who are not fit to drive.
Police need to do a thorough background check and vet individual fit to hold our driving licence.
Drivers need to drive with utmost care and diligence. They should always remember that the live they safe may be their own.
"Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don't let yourself believe it will happen to you."