Dec 31, 2020, 12:33 PM
As we bid farewell to 2020, generally, the year has been a memorial year in the sense it coincided with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
However, the alarming rate at which it occurred in The Gambia in the past years has raised concern and even suggestion for a national debate over the issue.
Let’s bear in mind that road traffic accidents in the Gambia are multi-factorial. The lesser faire attitude of some drivers, illicit drugs use and over-speeding.
We cannot agree that it is as a result of rapid urbanization and motorization as factors leading to higher number of road traffic accidents.
According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes globally. This figure is just alarming and a lot more could be done to address the issue at the national level.
Unless more comprehensive global action is taken, the number of deaths and injuries is likely to rise significantly.
And most of these road traffic crashes are not 'accidents'. We need to challenge the notion that they are unavoidable and make room for a pro-active, preventive approach.
There is need for road users, majority of whom, are youths to change their mindset, do away with over-speeding and use of illicit of hard drugs.
As rightly stated by Dr. Seeku AK Jabbie, first deputy governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, implementing traffic laws and regulations by the police is crucial in the whole issue. As part from protecting the lives of citizens, police have a lead role to play in curbing road traffic accidents.
Even the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set an ambition of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by the end of 2021.
Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product. Therefore, curbing road traffic would help cut the cost of the country’s gross domestic product.
We once again challenge the drivers, majority of whom are youths to take change their mindsets. Always drive carefully on the roads. Remember that the life they save 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 dont let yourself believe it will happen to you."
Since the first reported case of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China, what health experts across the globe have been encouraging and elaborating all this while, is avoiding public gatherings and always adhere to World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health guidelines.