September 1, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
In an effort to prevent road traffic crashes caused by the use of substandard auto spare parts, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) has declared war on importers of the said substandard spare parts.
The institution is currently battling to meet the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety and has been making significant contributions to ensuring that road traffic crashes become a thing of the past in Sierra Leone.
In a recent interview with Abdul Karim Dumbuya, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the institution at his Kissy Road office, he said the use of substandard auto spare parts was some of the primary causes of frequent road accidents in Sierra Leone.
He added that if substandard auto spare parts were allowed to be imported into the country, the country would continue to experience frequent road traffic crashes.
“We have engaged the importers as well as other stakeholders in the transport industry about this concern and we have all agreed to acutely stop the importation of substandard spare parts. One of the measures we have taken is to urge the importers to obtain licences from us so as to verify their imported goods,” he said.
He noted that SLRSA had also engaged officials of the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to assist in testing auto spare parts that are imported into Sierra Leone.
He said most vehicle users have complained to SLRSA about substandard auto spare parts, adding that it is enshrined in the Road Traffic Regulation of 2011 that all auto spare parts dealers must obtain their operational licences from SLRSA.
He said the SLRSA has conducted a survey in order to ascertain the number of auto spare parts shops in the entire country and that dealers would be urged to obtain licences from the Authority.
He said they have registered all the auto spare parts shops and that dealers have been informed that they would be regulated by the SLRSA, especially with regards the quality of spare parts that they import for motorists.
He said any dealer that imports substandard auto spare parts would not be allowed to sell their merchandise and dealt with accordingly.
SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, said her institution has been making tremendous contributions to ensure that the number of road traffic crashes reduces significantly. She added that she was hopeful that Sierra Leone would achieve the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety before the stipulated date.