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30 days follow up on road accident victims

…SLRSA takes step to get proper statistics of accident victims

April 11, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

In a bid to get the statistics of victims of road traffic accidents in the country, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) has decided to adopt the global 30 days time frame of collecting data of victims.

This was disclosed by the Executive Director of the Authority, Dr. Sarah Bendu, during stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the review of the national road safety strategy.

According to Dr. Bendu, the accepted time frame of collecting statistics on road traffic accident victims globally is within 30 days. This, she added, would enable the institution to know whether the victims of road accident survived, died or were left totally deformed.

“In Sierra Leone, all what we have been doing is to collect data on the scene of the accident. We have not been following up on what happens in the hospital after the accidents and that is very bad on our part,” she admitted and added that this was the reason they have been getting conflicting statistics on annual accidents.

The SLRSA executive director disclosed that annual road traffic statistics given by the Police is usually different from that collated by the SLRSA because while one institution takes statistics on the scene of the incident, the other does not.

“We need to build crash management system that will enable the Police and SLRSA to have one statistics,” she noted.

She disclosed that the World Health Organization (WHO) assessment about Sierra Leone is that helmets and seatbelts are highly in use than in other West African countries.

Among other challenges that her institution faces, Dr. Bendu said, were lack of support from the insurance companies, drivers’ poor knowledge about road signs, over speeding, drink and drive habit.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of SLRSA, Rev. Michael Samura, said a development process that does not take into account the safety and health of beneficiaries of that process would eventually culminate into a high social cost. He noted further that the bulk of the nation’s economic commodities and goods are transported by motor vehicles.

“Given that the public transport system in the country conveys massive number of Sierra Leoneans, the necessity for a safe and efficient road transport system cannot be overstated,” he said.

He disclosed that the overall goal of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety was to stabilise and reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by 2020, adding that the Action was premised on five pillars: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users and post crash response.

“A road traffic crash results from combination of factors related to the components of the system comprising roads, the environment, vehicles and road users, and the way they interact. Some factors aggravate the effects of the collision and thus contribute to trauma severity,” he concluded.

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