As Sections of the new road opens to traffic
By Nelson Manneh
The Commissioner for Mobile Traffic of the Gambia Police Force Lamin King Colley on Wednesday 17th January 2024 informed the press that the police have recorded one hundred and two accidents on the Bertil Harding Highway as some sections of the road have been opened for traffic to use.
Commissioner King Colley made this disclosure during a press briefing organised by the National Road Authority to sensitise drivers and all road users on road safety, in particular the new Bertil Harding Highway.
The Bertil Harding Highway is still under construction, even though some sections of the road have been opened for traffic to use. There have been some accidents since the road was opened.
Commissioner Colley said out of the registered accidents, the police recorded sixteen deaths.
“We continue to talk about certain deadly diseases in this country but we forget about our road accidents. Most of the accidents that occurred are head to head accidents and they are caused by the drivers,” he said.
Mr Ousman Sanyang, the National Roads Authority Managing Director, said road safety is a collective responsibility which should be a concern to everybody.
He said that the mandate of the National Roads Authority is to be a vibrant institution, dedicated to providing a high standard and well-maintained road network to support the economic and social development of The Gambia and to provide safe, reliable and well-maintained road network for socio-economic development of The Gambia.
“Most of the road accidents that occurred are not caused by poor road designs but they are mostly caused by drivers’ behaviours,” he said.
MD Sanyang said Bertil Harding is a new road project that has three lanes at each side of the road, adding that the newly-built road has started having traffic congestion which is caused by the poor usage of the roundabouts, especially the Senegambia roundabout.
“We want drivers to safely use the road because their safety is our priority. The accidents that are happening are called for and most of them are caused by the drivers,” he noted.
Mr Babucarr Manneh, NRA Road Safety Engineer, said the Bertil Harding Highway is becoming a death trap for road users.
“The government will not spend millions of Dalasi to construct a death trap for its citizens. Safety starts from home and drivers should learn to drive safely,” he said.
Mr Manneh said police officers are not needed at the roundabouts because the roundabouts themselves are police officers and need to be respected.
“Drivers should abolish traffic cheating as it is another contributing factor to accidents,” he noted.