…Dr. Sarah Bendu warns IAMTECH students
June 12, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Executive Director of Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, has warned students of the Institute of Advance Management and Technology (IAMTECH) that the use of earpiece and texting while walking on the streets could cause road traffic crashes.
Dr. Bendu made the above warning last Friday while delivering a public lecture at IAMTECH on the theme: Our collective responsibility together we can save lives.
She said most people were in the habit of listening to music from their mobile phones, through the use of earpieces and texting their friends and love ones while walking on the streets, adding that such habit has been leading to many road traffic crashes.
“In most cases, survivors of road traffic crashes, particularly those that are deformed, may lose their privacy because everything that they may want to do will be done for them by others,” she said, noting that her institution is against the loss of lives to road accident and that was the reason they have been engaging people in lorry parks, schools and tertiary institutions so that they will know how to use the road safely.
She warned that people should also stop wrestling, playing and arguing while walking on the street, because such acts will make them prone to road accidents.
Dr. Bendu said road safety is a passport to life and all users should be able to know the various road signs in order to save lives.
Director of Technical Compliance of the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM), Maddie Sesay, said road users including drivers and riders should always ensure that their vehicles are road worthy, noting that when roads are safe, there will be no road accident.
He disclosed that plans were underway for SLICOM to launch a compensation fund for victims of road traffic crashes, adding that they decided to start the fund because many road accidents victims are hit by cars that cannot be traced.
“Whenever a victim is damaged by a hit and run cars, he/she would have to take the burden of taking care of the hospital bills. Sometimes, many of those victims are poor,” he said.
Head of Transport at SLRSA, Lamin Koroma, said education on the various signs of the road is very important for people especially the future generation.
He explained vividly about the essence of zebra crossing, traffic lights and other signs of the road.
Inspector Alfred Turay of the Traffic Directorate, Sierra Leone Police Force, said statistics by World Health Organization (WHO) showed that five million lives were lost to road traffic crashes yearly.
He added that because of that figure, the United Nations introduced the Decade of Action on Road Safety in 2010.
He said if no action is taken now, road accidents will be the principal killer disease in the world.
“The Traffic Management Directorate is currently using enforcement, engineering education, and emergency medical services, which is widely referred to as the four Es in the promotion of road safety,” he said. He noted that the students are leaders of tomorrow and “if we lose them now, their parents and the nation will suffer.
Acting Director of Road Safety and Enforcement, Major Sandi, said there are five pillars in the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety which the SLRSA narrowed down to the National Road Safety Strategy that was launched by President Koroma some years ago.
“The five pillars include road safety management, safer roads, safer vehicles, road user education and behaviour and post-crash care management. All of these require inter-agency collaboration in order to achieve them,” he said.
Jonathan Massaquoi, President of the IAMTECH Students’ Union, said they have recently lost two students to road traffic crashes, adding that most of them went through a very painful experience because of the loss.
“Some of us don’t know road signs but after this lecture, we have learnt a lot. We will now be pioneers of road safety in our various communities,” he said.
Certificates were awarded to Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu and her Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abdul Karim Dumbuya by the students of the institution for their contributions to road safety.