13 June 2013

Cameroon: Drivers Show Positive Attitudes in Road Safety Campaign

Since the month of April 2013 when the on-going road safety campaign was launched nationwide, road users say they are beginning to witness some major positive changes when using the road. One of such is the limited or very conscious manner in which people use mobile cell phones when driving.

Rather unusually, it is common to see drivers putting on seatbelts. Jeannine M, a road user, says she has noticed a significant drop in the manner in which taxi drivers overload passengers. Given that they risk paying a fine when caught during circulation, taxi men have learned not to over-load passengers as before.

Another private car owner in Yaounde, says because of the recurrent checks, she was forced to pay the insurance coverage for her car as well as undertake the required technical control to obtain a roadworthiness certificate for her car. She says although these documents are important for any car circulating along any road in the country, she has always been very reluctant to do them but for the road safety campaign that has caused her to be in conformity with the law.

However, all is not well as transport trade unionists say although the government is taking stringent measures for all road users to respect the rules put in place, the fight against clandestine transportation will be a difficult task to curb.

Guy-Olivier Ndie Foetie of the National Trade Union of Transporters in Cameroon says the fight against clandestine transportation in the city of Yaounde which is one of the major aspects in the road safety campaign is a difficult issue to handle because of those involved in the practice. Guy-Olivier Ndie Foetie says clandestine drivers who ply roads from the Mokolo Market to Nkolbisson and Oyom-Abang neighbourhoods in Yaounde, are mostly military personnel just like those posted along the road to control such drivers. He said usually when such a clandestine transporter is stopped along the road he says, "I am a man-in-uniform" and immediately, the road is opened for him.

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