By: Ilyasa Baa
The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) have cast aspersions on the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union saying they don’t organise training for their membership which is why there has been an increase in road accidents since the start of the year.
The Traffic Coordinator of the SLP, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Alimamy Koroma, said most drivers can not read or write or even know what road signs are meant for. He said, “the Drivers Union should come on board and organise workshops to keep drivers on their toes regularly so they know what to do when they see the road signs”.
Dept. Supt. Koroma was reacting to two gruesome road accidents that took place in the Western Rural District, recently that claimed the lives of seven people including school children.
He said there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about how containers ply the streets from the Quay. He noted that based on the MoU, commercial containers are released after 7 pm, adding that the police do escort containers carrying high-profile contents.
He said the Office of National Security (ONS) had engaged the Indigenous Transport Owners Association (ITOA)on safety adding that the sub-committee formed including the SLP, IOTA is being supervised by the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) and ONS.
It could be recalled that on 15th March, a Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number ARB 668 lost control while in high speed and killed four pupils at Bottom Mango while they were trying to get home after school as well as injuring other people. Three days later, three women were killed by a twenty – feet container with registration number AHQ 411 at the Waterloo-Tombo Road by the park and market junction. The driver, identified as Barrie, was coming from the provinces while at Waterloo, he decided to branch the vehicle over towards Benguema and on his way coming he reportedly had a brake failure in broad daylight.
The Drivers Union insists they are talking to their drivers to be careful on the road. The Union has been divided with no focus on the welfare of drivers as the current and past executives have been fighting themselves for the past four years.