To Address Traffic Accidents
By Nelson Manneh
The President of the Gambia Transport Union Omar Ceesay urges Government to review the Motor Traffic and Insurance Acts of the Gambia in order to adequately address issues relating to road accidents.
The Transport Union President said the laws that govern the aforesaid acts are colonial laws that need to be reviewed.
Ceesay, who was grieving over the numerous fatal accidents that occurred within the past two weeks, said the Union has also come up with a new slogan: “No Settlement of Claims, No Payment of Premium.” The slogan, according to Ceesay, intends to make Insurance Companies to start paying up damages to accident victims.
“The number of road accident on the Trans Gambia highway is increasing by the day, and the authorities need to come up with measures that will help reduce them,” he said.
Ceesay said there are many vehicles on the roads with valid insurance covers for passengers, vehicles and goods. However, he added that it is very unfortunate that many victims are not benefiting from the Insurance compensation.
“Many Insurance Companies are not fulfilling their mandate towards vehicle owners because just like it is mandatory for all vehicles to be insured before using our roads, it should also be mandatory for compensation to be made after accidents and to victims and their properties,” he said.
Ceesay called on the Central Bank of The Gambia, which serves as the regulatory authority, to assess Insurance Companies and claim their payment records, adding the bank should take the lead in amending the aforesaid Acts for it to be in tandem with present times.
“If one goes to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, you will see how road accidents victims are faring without any compensation from Insurance Companies. Many people lose their lives to road accidents and their families never receive any compensation from Insurance Companies. Many people are in our homes with permanent injuries that disabled them and have never received any compensation from Insurance Companies. Therefore, one may ask what the essence of these Insurance Companies are in the country. These Companies should be scrutinized in order to check their ways of operations,” he said.
Ceesay urged the Gambia Police Force not to enforce payment of insurance on roads because Gambians do not benefit from Insurance covers.
“We urgently call on the Commissioner of Insurance to strictly monitor the operations of Insurance Companies. We urgently call on the Central Bank of the Gambia, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport, Gambia Police Force, Members of the National Assembly and GCCPC, to step in to ensure Insurance Companies own up to their responsibilities,” he concluded.