By Matthew Jabby
Commissioner of Insurance in Sierra Leone, Mr. A.A. Kanu has told a regional road safety conference held at Bintumani Hotel in Freetown that there is an increasing need to sustain and improve road safety in the sub-region in order to enhance better sub-regional and global integration and to reduce road accidents.
Kanu said the need for the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) to be at par with other sub-regional road safety agencies should not to be overemphasised.
He said road safety and its implications presents enormous challenges and has been recurrent, despite the degree of attention it has received from SLRTA and governments across the West Africa sub-region.
“I have followed with keen interest all the progress made so far by the West Africa Road Safety Organization in their attempt to integrate road safety in the West Africa Sub-region, for which I want to commend the successive leadership of this organisation for their remarkable achievements in the past few years,” he noted.
He continued that as insurance regulators, they are happiest when an attempt is made to sensitise the public on how they could use the road safely because “We are making a deliberate attempt to help save the lives and properties of the people of Sierra Leone and the sub-region as well, while at the same time taking the bold step in enhancing and ensuring the continuation of our economic activities, which when destroyed as a result of road accidents, will result in economic loss for our people and the nation.”
He expressed that incidents of road traffic accidents worldwide, especially in the sub-region, are growing at an astronomical proportion and that for these and other reasons, global and as well as regional road safety initiative should continue to be a matter of growing concern for all, including governments, international organisations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the citizens.
He elaborated that the institutions set up by the various governments of the sub-region for the safety of the roads must brace themselves up to work harder than they have been doing, and make sure they put modalities in place that can prevent or at least reduce the incidence of accidents on the roads.
He pointed out that most accidents do occur as a result of the fact that most motorists do not comply with road traffic rules.
He further cited the lack of road traffic signs in some areas, the use of motor vehicles that are not road worthy, overloading and over-speeding and the nature of roads, as some of the causes of road accidents.