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‘Children & young adults vulnerable in road accidents’

- Road Safety Authority boss

May 14, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu

SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu

Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) has opined that children and young adults are the most vulnerable in road accidents.

Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu told a public lecture hosted at the Mary Kingsley Auditorium, Fourah Bay College, recently that to lose a child was not easy, especially to a preventable accident and that accidents leave families and communities with emotional wounds that take decades to heal.

She noted that road safety was a global concern not only for public health and injury prevention, but also to improve efficiency in traffic management, adding that road traffic crashes were routine occurrences on roads throughout the world that result to thousands of fatalities, while many more are left with disabilities or emotional scars.

“Yearly, around 80,000 children aged 5-4 in developing countries lose their right to education for a single tragic reason: they are killed on our roads. Pedestrians and the young are at risk on the road. Traffic collisions can lead to significant deaths and disability that result to financial loss, property damage, injuries and lawsuits,” she stated.

Dr. Bendu appealed to pedestrians, especially young people, to be responsible while using the roads by knowing how to travel safely to and from school, understanding the highway codes, identifying and understanding the causes of traffic crashes and how to reduce the risk.

“Road traffic crashes have cost Sierra Leone 1.3% of GDP, including materials, medical cost and lost productivity,” she said.

Also, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, stated that Sierra Leone had immense problems with road safety and management as a result of numerous road crashes.

He said in order to minimize road crashes, the SLRSA had made significant strides in promoting awareness campaigns on road safety through radio programmes, symposiums and workshops, and urged Sierra Leoneans to help promote road safety messages in a bid to significantly help reduce the risk on the roads.