…SLRSA plans to speed up licensing processes boosted
April 4, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
In a bid to expedite the licensing processes, which over the years has attracted a lot of public criticism, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) last week commissioned a refurbished license hall with state-of-the art equipment.
The Authority also commissioned an ultra modern repair workshop, which aims at repairing vehicles as well as training unskilled youth in mechanical engineering.
The commissioning of the two facilities took place on Thursday at the SLRSA headquarters on Kissy Road in Freetown.
Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, said the objective of the establishment of a motor vehicle repairs and skills training facility was to provide safety investments, to build critical road safety management capacity in respect of infrastructure, vehicle and behavioural safety programmes.
“Furthermore, the facility would guarantee the systematic process for road safety system improvement and knowledge transfer to road transport industry personnel. The facility would provide basic training in vehicle science and technology,” he said. He added that training would entail basic theory and practical skills such as motor vehicle engineering, motor vehicle management, vehicle faults diagnostic techniques, vehicle systems practical, vehicle chassis systems practical, auto electrics and repairing motor vehicles.
He disclosed that on completion of the training, trainees would be given certificates in motor vehicle engineering and graduate as motor vehicle mechanics and technicians respectively.
He assured that the commissioning of the license hall would speed up vehicle and drivers licensing processes, which have attracted criticisms from the public recently because of long delays.
Dr. Sarah Bendu, Executive Director of SLRSA, said the commissioning of the two facilities was part of her dream for the Authority to match international standards, adding that the completed project was their dream to effect change.
“This refurbished licensing hall will address the needs of customers especially when the Authority is preparing to process biometric licenses for drivers. At the workshop and skilled training centre, there are 20 pits to maintenance and repair vehicles,” she said, adding that some of the pits would be used to do right-hand drive conversion, body work and panel beating, wheels and tyre checking, among other purposes.
She said the training school would help train unskilled youth as it would offer courses in motor vehicle mechanics, interior decoration and spraying, etc.
Board Chairman of SLRSA, Rev. Michael Samura, said the Authority is autonomous and does not receive subventions from the government. He noted that it generates revenue from fees of licenses, printing of vehicle plates, among others, adding that the annual revenue generated is not adequate to meet the Authority’s numerous challenges.
“SLRSA spends a lot of money to put up structures, procure tow trucks, training of staff, among others. Major road safety issues are poor enforcement of existing Road Safety Act, inadequate funds, inadequate maintenance of roads, encroachment of the road by traders, inadequate street lights causing poor visibility, inadequate vehicle examining equipments, limited safety awareness, absence of emergency hotlines, poor insurance coverage for accidents victims,” he elaborated.