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SLRSA to ban renewal of licenses for vehicles with iron seats

…says they are responsible for deaths and injuries during road accidents

July 21, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) has said it would ban the renewal of licences of vehicles, especially mini buses locally referred to as ‘Poda Poda’, with iron seats.

This was disclosed in an interview with Concord Times on Tuesday by head of Public Relations, Abdul Karim Dumbuya, at his Kissy Road Office.

Dumbuya noted that iron seats contribute to deaths and injuries during road accidents, adding that most disability resulting from road accidents are caused by iron seats in commercial vehicles.

“We have been getting complaints from the public, including stakeholders in the transport sector, to ban the use of iron seats, especially in commercial vehicles. It is in the Road Transport Act that we should not renew vehicles with iron seats because they pose danger to human lives. Many motor owners are in the habit of removing the original seats of their vehicles and replacing them with iron seats. We cannot renew their licences if they don’t have the original seats,” he said.

Asked if the SLRSA would not loss revenue if it takes such stance, Dumbuya said even though the Authority may loss revenue, there was every indication that the action would yield dividend because the lives and safety of the general populace was of paramount importance to SLRSA than revenue generation.

The SLRSA PRO disclosed that all spare parts dealers must obtain their licences from the Authority as enshrined in the Road Traffic Regulation of 2011, adding that they would soon start to robustly enforce licencing of all auto spare parts shops in the country.

Quizzed as to why they have decided to licence auto spare parts shops, Dumbuya said many motorists have been complaining about substandard auto spare parts in the country.

He added that as an Authority regulating the transport sector in the country, they were very much concerned because substandard spare parts caused road accidents and many other problems on the road.

“We are collaborating with the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to test the standards of the spare parts that are brought to the country by some dealers,” he said.

He added that the SLRSA had conducted a survey in order to know the number of auto spare parts shops in the entire country and that all dealers would be urged to obtain licences from the Authority, following which they would be called to a meeting to be informed about regulating parameters set by SLRSA, especially with regards the quality spare parts they import for sale.

He disclosed that hundreds of auto spare parts in the country are not registered with the SLRSA.

Also, he said the ban on the use of right hand vehicles in the country had been postponed until 2018, although the ban on their importation was still in force.

“The state should not make people to suffer and the owners of those right hand drive vehicles are members of the state. They have appealed for more time and we have given them that time on to 2018,” he said.

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