The Government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with World Health Organization has kicked start the celebration of the United Nations (UN) 4th Global Road Safety Week with the theme ‘Speed Management’ at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown. The event started on the 8th and is expected to end on the 14th May 2017.
In his keynote address, the Honourable Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma said, deaths are a tragedy for all affected while injuries can cause suffering, economic loss and life changing misfortunes in our society. He added that finance losses to individuals and families, as in many cases, not mitigated by adequate insurance coverage or safety nets, therefore may lose their only breadwinner or left with very high health care bills.
The Transport Minister referred to the 2015 WHO Global Road Safety Report which say, “The Global Status report on road safety 2015, reflecting information from 180 countries indicated that Worldwidethe total number of road traffic deaths has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road fatality deaths in low-income countries”
Hon. Leonard Koroma disclosed to his audience that the most often road traffic crashes and fatalities are as a result of; the Attitude of Drivers and Motorists, Over Speeding, Fatigue on drivers, especially trucks or lorry drivers, Poor road conditions, poorly maintenance vehicles to name but few. He continued that most of the harm and cost is avoidable and it’s not an inevitable consequence of road transportation. Hon. Koroma added that as a government, they believe further policies are required to strengthen the existing policies even though their agencies have tried their level best in its implementation.
They Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, Dr. Sarah Bendu said the week is focused on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. She added that it also seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate actions or measures to address speed, thereby saving lives and the roads.
Dr. Bendu called on all stakeholders, both national and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, privatecompanies, and the public in every member country to plan and host events marking the week. The SLRSA boss explained why speed management was chosen for this year’s celebration and it effect if not control to the human resources of any country. She went on that speed can be managed by building or modifying roads to include features that calm traffic, establishing speed limits appropriate to the function of each road, reinforcing speed limits and raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.
A Power point presentation was made by the Director General of Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Engineer Mrs. Memunatu Kumba Jalloh on the roles and responsibilities of SLRA, Presentation from Total Company representative, World Bank Representative, the Sierra Leone Police, Road Maintenance Fund Management, Board Director of SLRSA. They all called for action to.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.