The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) on Wednesday 26th August, 2015 held discussions with the Sierra Leone Motor Vehicle Maintenance Association (SLMVMA), Spare Part Dealers and Sierra Leone Standards Bureau among other stakeholders at the Authority’s headquarters hall, Kissy Road, Freetown on the ban of right hand drive (RHD) vehicles.
SLRSA Human Resource Director, Joseph Dauda who chaired there ceremony stated that the ban on right hand drive vehicles was postponed due to the Ebola outbreak and the unavailability of parts to change right hand drives to left.
Reverend Michael Samura, SLRSA Board Chairman said that ‘time and tide wait for no man’ and that the change from right hand drive is going to be done so that the SLRSA would have a single system globally and in the process enhance road safety which should be everybody’s concern.
Chairman Samura called on SLMVMA, the Spare Part Dealers among other stakeholders to join the Authority in the prohibition of right hand vehicles for road safety for a better Sierra Leone and to totally do away with such vehicles.
Deputy Executive Director SLRSA, Alice Pratt urged stakeholders to work together with the authority for the conversion of right hand drive vehicles.
Madam Alice Pratt recalled that the change from right drive vehicles to left was effected on 3rd March, 1971 which is still in the law books and the Authority’s Act.
She said in 2013, the Authority revisited the Act to effect the ban because Sierra Leone’s roads are designed for left hand vehicle drive, therefore the present of several right hand drive vehicles lead to an increase in accidents.
SLRSA Transport Director, Lamin Koroma disclosed that there are qualified mechanics in the country that would handle the conversion of vehicles from right hand drive to left but for the lack of garage equipment clarifying that the Authority is ready to provide these equipment as a way of partnering with the private sector.
He further stated that the Authority would soon put mechanisms in place to identify garages with standard equipment added to a conducive working environment and as well educate mechanics and spare part dealers for the sustainability of the change.
Lamin Koroma revealed that 3,000 right hand drive vehicles have been registered for uniformity.
SLMVMA President, Ibrahim Sankoh commended SLRSA for its efforts on road safety and assured of his organization’s collaboration with the Authority.
Ibrahim Sankoh appealed for support from the authority to enforce rules and regulations that would reduce street garages that destroy roads and cause road accidents.
Sierra Leone Standards Bureau representative, Tamba Kamanda said that SLRSA has triggered them to introduce spare parts standards presently not available in the Bureau’s mandate.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.