By Amadou Manjang
The Gambia has joined the rest of the world on Sunday, 21 November, 2021 to celebrate World Day and Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims held at the Youth Monument, Westfield.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “act for low speed”.
The Gambia has an average of 890 road accidents and 115 road fatalities annually. These accidents are mostly caused by high speeding and reckless driving.
The Health Promotion Officer of World Health Organization (WHO) in The Gambia, Momodou Kassama, said most road crashes are caused by over speeding or inappropriate speeding.
He added that the crashes cause a lot of deaths that could be prevented if proper measures and precautions are taken. To him, over speeding influences the possibility of one getting a devastating accident.
“Speed is a killer. It is dangerous, so the lower the speed the better,” he said. “Road safety is everyone’s business.”
He further added that young people who are mostly involved in high speeding should be careful and the authorities, especially the police, should enforce the law to minimize road accidents caused by high speed driving.
Psychology lecturer at the University of the Gambia, Dr. Lamin Sidibe, said sometimes accidents are caused by people’s behaviours and both drivers and passengers should be vigilant on the motorways.
“Because we are all prone and vulnerable to accidents,” he added.
He further stated that people applying for a driving license should be properly scrutinized especially on their sense of reasoning, judgments, and ethics before they can secure a license.
Alanasa Jobe, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, said people should ensure drivers are prosecuted for reckless and negligent driving to reduce road accident casualties. He added that platforms should be created to help survivors of road accidents as well as remembering those who lost their lives.
Ansumana Sano, a victim of road traffic accident, said there is a need to review some of the issues that cause accidents or increase casualties when an accident occurs. He urged the drivers to stop overloading passengers in their vehicles, adding that overloaded vehicles can cause more casualties when there is an accident.