#Headlines

Coastal  Security CEO calls for  serious road  reforms 

Feb 10, 2022, 1:46 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Seedy Sheriff Ceesay, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Coastal Security and Coastal Enterprise has called for fundamental road reforms in the country to curb the unending road accidents.

Mr. Ceesay who recently spearheaded a campaign to look at how our traffic or our roads are managed added that, what they uncovered is horrific and unexpected in the 21st century in a country like The Gambia.

The Gambia is rated 4th in the world for road accident and Ceesay said the Road Traffic Act must be amended and an authority for Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency set up. 

The last few months has seen serious increase in road fatality with loss of many lives, and CEO Ceesay stated that Gambian roads are designed very poorly with poor road signs which contribute to road accidents.

He further said that in the past couple of years, almost everyone has lost a family member or friend, or has someone disabled or in serious condition due to road accidents in the country.

He added that obstruction also results in many accidents but hardly are drivers penalised for obstructions.

Ceesay said that every road must have furniture? and therefore called on the National Road Authority (NRA) to take it upon themselves to solve problems of places where frequent road accidents take place. 

“It is only in The Gambia lately where enforcers of our traffic are the same people issuing driver’s license,” he also said, noting that, such should be stopped.

According to him, we must have a body wholly responsible for issuing drivers licence as well as have an MOT system in The Gambia. The MOT test is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions required).

He observed that most vehicles in The Gambia are not roadworthy because they have mechanical faults which also contribute to road accidents.

He enjoined the NRA to re-organise the roads, saying: “The way our roads are set up is a recipe for disaster.”

“You can drive 100 miles in The Gambia and hardly see a road sign which is very bad,” he further said, adding that speed bumps are also constructed at wrong places.

He highlighted that nobody is safe in the country as our roads kill more people than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and hypertension.

He also pointed out the indiscipline on our roads, saying failure for discipline must be penalised. “People must lose their licence and reprimand for their actions. You can lose your licence by court today and in the next hour you can get your licence somewhere else,” he said. 

“The issuance of licence must be controlled and checked”, he went on, saying we must have a system that is to monitor the affairs of our licence and vehicles.

He also called on people especially institutions to take responsibility for how they hire and recruit drivers, saying the job must be given to qualified individuals because they are not only carrying the vehicles precious lives in them. 

He also said that the country needs accident investigators. “If we control our licence and do the right thing we will save lives and those lives can be ours.”

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