The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) is currently going after vehicles, especially commercial ones with metal seats, with the view to ensuring the safety of passengers.
A number of mini buses popularly known as "poda-poda" with metal seats have been impounded by the authority and issued with a prohibition order to make sure the vehicles are road worthy before it could be allowed to ply.
According to the Transport Manager, Daniel Crespin Kaitibie, the move is meant to enforce the ban on metal seat in public vehicles, which was instituted in 2017.
He told Concord Times that drivers are in the habit of removing cushion seat and replacing them with metal ones in their mini buses popularly known as "poda-poda" to increase the number of passengers.
"The lives lost on the road is very important than the money that we chase. Last week, we impounded ten (10) vehicles with metal seats and issued them prohibition order. We will continue with our on the spot check this Thursday to ensure that vehicles with metal seats are taken off the road until they are fitted with the requisite comfortable passenger seats," he said.
Mr. Kaitibie noted that they have a sacred responsibility to ensure that all vehicles on the road were in sound mechanically condition so as to ensure the safety of passengers.
According to him, the authority have noticed that drivers come with the right seats for vehicle examination but revert back to metal ones soon after.
"Metal seats lead to very severe injuries and loss of life when accident occurred on the road. Some of these vehicles usually come with their normal seats but because drivers want to add up the number of passengers, they will remove them and fix a metal seat which is dangerous," Kaitibie noted.
He explained that when a vehicle is issued with a prohibition order, it is mandatory for it to be off the road until the metal seats are replaced with cushion ones.