Presidential rebuke for Sierra Leone’s ministers and public officials breaking traffic rules

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 July 2018:

Sierra Leone is among the countries in West Africa with the highest road traffic accidents. Every month at least six people die on the country’s roads.

The heavy cost of traffic congestion – caused by poorly and illegally parked vehicles, motorists habitually driving in the wrong direction and in restricted areas, is putting a massive strain on an already crippling economy.

While responsibility and blame is being placed on drivers generally, the government is now pointing fingers at public officials that are blatantly abusing their status and office, to flagrantly violate traffic rules.

Many in Sierra Leone believe that the problem lies with the police who are failing to enforce the law. “They are far too busy collecting bribes and looking the other way. Sierra Leone is lawless,” says one angry pedestrian in Freetown.

But it now seems that the breaking of traffic rules could be a thing of the past, if the newly elected president Julius Maada Bio should have his way.

Yesterday, State House issued a press statement strongly rebuking public officials for their flagrant violation of traffic rules. The president it says is calling on the police to act immediately to arrest the growing menace.

“His Excellency the President has expressed grave concern over the disregard/disrespect for Traffic Rules and Regulations by vehicles and other motor-driven objects, including Government Registered Vehicles carrying Ministers.

“This practice is not only contrary to Traffic Rules and Regulations, which are punishable by law, but also, it demoralizes disciplined and law-abiding users of the road, and has the potential to cause fatal accidents, particularly when they drive against recognized traffic.

“With immediate effect therefore, all vehicles and motor-driven objects, including vehicles carrying Ministers of Government (save Emergency Vehicles as defined by law) MUST adhere to Traffic Rules and Regulations.

“Any vehicle or motor-driven object that violates Traffic Rules and Regulations, particularly those that run against the traffic will face the full force of the law.

“The Inspector General of Police and the Chief Executive of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority are advised accordingly.”

In response, the Chief of police has issued a strong warning. This is what he said:

2 Comments

  1. I was beginning to get very hopeful about this presidential rebuke, until I saw this dreadful news by BBC Umaru Fofanah:

    “As I drove to SLBC to visit some friends and head home approaching 6pm today, I saw a vehicle with registration number “Leader HOP” apparently carrying the SLPP parliamentary leader (see photo), driving against the oncoming traffic. This, just 24 hours after the president had instructed the police to take action against such a breach of the traffic rules.”

    What is wrong with these people in power in Sierra Leone? It seems like it does not matter which party is in power, once they get into the seat of power they have no respect for the law.

    How can the SLPP leader in parliament behave like this just a day after the president had called on the police to arrest anyone that breaks the traffic rules? Is this a case of one law for the master and another law for the slaves?

    These politicians must rot in hell, I pray to God.

  2. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Enforcement of these traffic regulations will provide additional pocket money for the police, Mr IGP.

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