15 January 2014

Gambia: Road Accidents


2014 has just begun and reports of road accidents are back in the news. This is indeed a great cause for concern. It is therefore fundamental that all users of the roads, particularly drivers and the traffic policemen exercise caution and restraint to ensure that the roads are safe and conducive for people. Pedestrians and cyclists should also play their part by ensuring that they are always watchful when walking on the highways and avoid unnecessary competition with motorists. The country now has a good road network to ensure smooth traffic for an accident-free society. The government has also introduced certain traffic laws like the ban on talking on a cell phone while driving, making use of seat belts compulsory, speed limits for driving in town, and a host of others. Despite all these, it is rather unfortunate that some drivers flout some of these traffic rules, especially in places where there are no traffic police in sight.

Thus, while driving they exceed the speed limit, use their mobile phones, and sometimes even overload their vehicles. In fact, these flouting of traffic rules by drivers are often the major causes of traffic accidents. We therefore urge drivers to respect the traffic rules and signs at all times so that they can be part of those saving the lives of people. They should constantly make sure that the treads on their vehicle tyres are good; this is very important because tyres that do not have proper treads are likely to skid during the rainy season. Wipers should also not be forgotten, as the most important thing while driving a car when it is raining are the wipers. If they do not work, there is only one thing that should be done, and that is parking the car on the roadside. We need not talk about brakes because the drivers themselves are aware of its importance. We do acknowledge that the police are doing their best. They are clearly visible along highways in the country, ensuring that motorists abide by the rules.

However, it is fundamental that they are encouraged to keep up the momentum and continue being vigilant and help prevent unnecessary road accidents. It should at all times be realised that the prevention of road accidents requires collective effort and cooperation of all those on traffic. Collective action is therefore required now to put an end to the loss of lives on our roads.


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