This was revealed by Ebrima Colley, deputy permanent secretary – Technical, at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, during a day-long sensitisation workshop on road safety for National Assembly Members held on Tuesday, 27 December 2022 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.
“Based on the statistics obtained from the police from the year 2011 to 2021, on average, about 121 people die annually as a result of road traffic accidents in The Gambia. The situation seems to be worsening looking at the statics for 2021. A total of 1218 road crashes occurred; 155 people died and 440 people sustained serious injuries,” he disclosed.
DPS Colley further stated that it is disheartening to learn that most of these deaths, injuries, and economic losses could be prevented, but not in developing countries like ours.
According to him, political will is important for any country to improve its road safety and The Gambia is walking in that direction.
“Over the years, legislations like the use of seat belts and mobile phones were enacted in the Gambia with the help of the National Assembly. There are still lots of room for improvement. In order to get where we aspire to be as a country, it is evident that some of the road traffic laws are obsolete, while others are inadequate,” he stated.
He therefore called on the National Assembly Members to join hands with the Ministry of Transport and other relevant stakeholders in reviewing some of these old traffic laws and regulations by enacting relevant and modern legislation geared towards improving road safety in the Gambia.
“Soon, the Ministry will be presenting a bill before you to establish a dedicated lead agency for road safety. Establishing a dedicated lead agency has been an important recommendation for any country serious with improving its road safety efforts”, he told the National Assembly Members.
Essa Drammeh, the director of Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, said there is a need to put efforts together in order to stop road traffic accidents/crashes in the country.
Momodou Kassama of the World Health Organisation, Banjul Office used the opportunity to call on the members of the National Assembly to help in the enactment of laws that will improve road safety in the country.
He further thanked them for showing interest in road safety, which he said, should be a concern to all and sundry.