By Nelson Manneh
The office of the Inspector General of Police said beginning 2021, driving licenses shall be renewed subject to a driving standard’s review at designated centers, where certificates of competence will be issued.
Designated centers will be communicated in due course.
The Spokesperson of the Gambia Police Force, Superintendent Lamin Njie, who confirmed this information to Foroyaa, said the office of the Inspector General of Police has observed with concern that recently, there is an increase in Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs), mostly resulting in fatalities.
“It is clear that the police have many people driving on the roads and the current system of simply renewing licenses is not tenable. There has to be a robust checking system of these licenses,” he said.
Furthermore, Njie said there have been remarkable surge in road accidents and a huge drop in driving standards.
“Unless this review is done and properly too, the public shall continue to witness more of these fatal accidents or serious RTAs whereby lots of our citizens sustain injuries, some with lifelong effects on victims,” he said.
He said that the review procedure will include checks to see if the prospective driver is aware of road signs, safe driving protocols, courtesy and basic emergency stop rules like usage of signals both electronic and hand signs, side mirrors and internal rear-view mirrors, driving in built-up areas and speed limits.
“This list is not exhaustive, but basically this is meant to ensure drivers follow basic driving procedures at all times,” he said.
Equally, PRO Njie said a recent medical certificate proving a driver’s physical and mental health status including vision, hearing and physical abilities to drive competently on the road must be tendered as part of supporting documents when applying for driving licenses.
In addition, he said that vehicles have to undergo Road Worthiness Test before the licenses are renewed.
“All vehicles will be subjected to a High-Tech Mechanical test and Road Worthiness Certificate issued in accordance with the Motor Traffic Act. The certificate will be issued at the cost of D1200. Commencement date and details will be communicated,” he said
“The Police force is committed to inducting qualities and standards into the ethics of driving as a sure way of reducing rash and negligent acts on our roads. We cannot ignore this and we have to start now.”
By Nelson Manneh