31 January 2013

Cameroon: Locally Made Bumpers Forbidden!

Nowadays, it is common to see vehicles circulating around the country with locally-fabricated iron bars attached round the front-most or rear-most parts known as the bumpers. The Minister of Transport, Robert Nkili in a public announcement says some of the bumper protectors, locally designed to prevent or reduce physical damage to the front and rear ends of a car in low-speed collisions are dangerous to other road users as they could damage the vehicles of others or wound pedestrians. As such, locally fabricated bumpers are strictly forbidden.

According to the communiqué signed by the Minister of Transport, it has been observed that the circulation of taxis and private cars equipped with locally made bumpers that have dangerous characteristics keep increasing in various towns in the country. The Director of Land Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Zacherie Ngoumbe says locally-made bumpers do not pass through the approved homologation procedure of bumpers which should be bought or fabricated by auto part warehouses or car dealers.

Zacherie Ngoumbe says people just take any type of iron or zinc sheets to protect the hood, trunk, rails, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as their parking lights, headlamps and taillights. He said these extra appliances do not conform to the required norm in fabricating bumpers and do not serve the purpose for which they are put. Consequently, the Minister of Transport has invited proprietors of such vehicles to immediately remove the dangerous equipment from their vehicles in order to avoid inconveniences caused by repressive road control units.

Most people, particularly taxi drivers, do not seem to consider bumpers a big deal until they are involved in a collision, and at that point they realise that bumpers would have saved their car or them from serious damage. A car owner who opts for anonymity says nowadays most vehicles have plastic bumpers and they feel they need to protect them given that they are exposed to damage in any collision particularly with the availability of motorbike riders in town who cannot be avoided. But the Ministry of Transport insists that if one must put bumpers around ones car, they should be designed within the required norms, to look great and give the vehicle an overall smooth and aerodynamic appearance. Individuals are called to take a good look at their bumpers the next time they are out on the road.

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