Victor Mengot: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 January 2023:
Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Transport and Aviation has responded to a call by transport and road safety advocates and stakeholders to consider modalities for establishing traffic courts in Sierra Leone.
Our current traffic laws and regulations have some violations that are arrestable offences, and other penalties should be imposed after summary conviction for a particular traffic offence. Thus, the need for traffic courts.
Following my engagement with the Poda Poda and Bus Owners Association in Sierra Leone, we have submitted all documents to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration.
Our next move is to do membership surveys and registration of owners, drivers, and conductors. They will be issued with identity cards and will sign up to a strict code of conduct.
We are also planning a capacity building program. We want to give assurance to the public that they are being transported by responsible people.
I have also facilitated the registration of the Passenger Welfare Association
This is a purely private sector-led initiative in support of the government’s quest to reform the public transport sector under a World Bank-funded initiative.
About the author
Victor Ako Mengot is a Chartered Highway & Transportation Engineer
The laws no doubt should be adequate to address the issue but the concern is the enforcement and education. If those responsible for enforcement of road safety and traffic regulations are more interested in collecting bribes then we are not getting anywhere. Travelling up and down the country you can clearly see vehicles that are not meant to be on the roads; bad tyres no lights you name it passing through check points with ease.
Another factor that is not monitored is speeding some drivers interprete the 80 km/hr limit as 80 miles p/hr , the speed limiters like humps are not visible from a distance with no reflecting paint over them and poor lighting at night are some of the issues that need addressing if we are to save lives.