Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 January 2021:
Sierra Leone’s Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) yesterday Wednesday, published its Annual Road Crash Data for the year 2020 at its headquarters in Freetown.
Presenting the alarming data on the number of people who died last year in road accidents, Research and Development Manager – Mr. Ambrose Tucker said that a total of 867 people died in 2020 out of a total of 2,763 accidents.
He added that out of these, 501 were adult male, 334 were adult female and 32 were children.
Mr. Tucker also said that a total of 770 people were seriously injured while 834 suffered slight injuries from those accidents in 2020.
Tucker noted that in 2019, 519 people including children lost their lives in road accidents, compared to 867 reported last year.
In another development, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation on Tuesday, held a consultative meeting with the Ministry of Information and Communications, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), representatives of telecommunications companies and utility companies in Freetown to inform service providers about the ‘Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP)’ and how the delivery of the project will impact their work, and their role in the implementation of the project.
The team from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation stated that the project is aimed at modernizing transportation in Freetown by transforming traffic routes, improve infrastructure and vehicles plying the roads across the city.
They explained that the project will cover roads from Jui to the Central Bus Station; and construct a second bus station with market and transit transport terminal at Lumley, which should help reduce traffic in those areas.
The main purpose of the meeting with the Ministry of Information and telecommunication companies was to identify the locations of various utility poles and cables, in order to avoid damage and for the companies to come up with budget for relocation of property from the project sites.
A telecommunication company representative said that the move will have significant impact on them as most of their cables are on the routes in question, and any damage to cables will leave many people, if not the whole country disconnected, especially if international gateways are affected.
It was agreed that all concerned stakeholders will work together in partnership to avoid chaos.
The IRUMP is a World Bank sponsored project that aims at transforming Freetown from a congested vehicle-oriented city to a resilient people-oriented city that will improve the quality of life for all.
Blaming Julius Maada Bio for all the road accidents in Sierra Leone, is like trying to blame the Queen for all the road accidents in the UK. It is just not true.
The APC won’t blame the reckless drivers who often drive at high speeds with total disregard for the safety of their passengers and other road users. For them, it is all Bio’s fault.
Hmm! RIP to them all.
A dysfunctional government in its worst forms that has failed our poor people completely is what the inept corrupt SLPP Cabal aptly represents. A nation that keeps on deteriorating by the minute because of lack of visionary leadership is what our beloved Sierra Leone has become. Hoodlums who used to shine leather military boots until they reflected like spanking new mirrors and now holding on the reins of power overfeeding themselves while listening to contemplative and rational theories they know absolutely nothing about. A broken system, that keeps on shattering to fragments under the watchful eyes of paid government officials unable and unwilling to do anything about it but watch in silence.
Welcome to Sierra Leone a land of survivors, a harsh terrain without heroes, where anything and everything is permissible without regret; “Sir people are dying in road accidents in frightening numbers?” Oh well,” the Presidents replied, “Folks there’s nothing we can do, brush it aside.” Mr President another asked; “When are you ever going to put common sense measures in place that will reduce all this troubling needless fatalities.?” ” Fatalities?” What does that mean? (David Francis leans over and whispers in his ears)Then the President responded with a cold shrug;” Fatalities come and go as Presidents come and go, let the next President fix it I have better things to do” Countless lives are being snuffed away like candles in a storm but no one seems to care except those who have lost their loved ones.
Most road disasters can be drastically minimized with careful strategic planning; we need to train more road safety personnel that will robustly enforce traffic and road safety rules. And drivers must be mandated to attend a brief informative road safety course on the moral obligations, ethics and culture of road safety for free. Incentives, bonuses and salaries of Police officers and road safety personnel must be designed in an appealing, generous and attractive manner that would easily inspire people to take their obligations seriously. The time has finally come for “THAT EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD FOR US ALL” doctrine to come to an end and should now be replaced by an ideology that is deeply entrenched in a firm set of beliefs that recognizes without compromise that, “WE ARE OUR BROTHERS KEEPER”
As we reach the milestone of 867 Road accident deaths, we must pause and think about the poor souls that lost their lives in this death traps we call roads. May their souls rest in peace. What we’ve seen in this report, over the whole of 2020, with a once in every hundred years pandemic COVID19 raging across the world and killing as many people as possible and destroying livelihoods. One cannot help but notice that more of our countrymen, and women have unfortunately, died in our death trap atrocious roads than COVID19 managed to kill in liberia, Guinea, and Sierra leone and the Gambia, combined. What a damming indictment of Bio and his corrupt government. Instead of investing in our roads or rehabilitating the existing ones, they are busy buying SUVS.
These same government ministers that claim to represent the interest of the people, are seen around driving with their girlfriends in some of the most expensive vehicles money can buy on potholes-filled roads with a clear and unperturbed conscience. They cannot see the irony in that. You can blame these road accidents on all sorts – speeding, poor decision- making by drivers, driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, vehicles that are not road-worthy. The one fact remains lack of investment in our roads, which leaves us with uneven road surfaces, potholes, exposed rebar, sinkholes, elephant grass that grows in the middle of a major so-called highway, that won’t look out of place in the middle of the Congo forest. Good roads can enhance economic activity. Come on it is Bio’s government we are talking about. Developing our country is the least of their priorities.
867 lives lost in road traffic accidents in Sierra Leone in 2020. How sad. This is nothing new and has been going on for many years. There must be many reasons for these accidents to be addressed. One thing I know is Speeding and poor condition of the vehicles ( no genuine MOT ).