The Gambia Police Force has said the ban on tricycles is necessary to decongest the country’s roads and limit accidents.
According to the latest WHO data published in 2020 Road Traffic Accidents Deaths in Gambia reached 695 or 5.40% of total deaths.
Police spokesperson Lamin Njie said: “An assessment was conducted regarding the issue of the tuk-tuk and this is to do with the road safety situation in The Gambia and as you know the police have launch an operation to ensure that the road traffic accidents are been curtail in the country as a result series of issue has been look into as the contributing factor towards traffic accident in the country.
“If you look at our laws you will realise that laws of the Gambia don’t allow tricycles to be use as commercial carriages and so as a result of that an assessment is done and which involve stakeholders as well and decisions were made to review the situation of our tricycles on our roads.”
“Because they seriously contribute to congestion on the roads and they are also involved in a series of road traffic accidents and if you look at the tuk-tuk or tricycle you realise a lot of non-Gambian nationals are involved driving these tricycles which raises a security concern.
“It is nothing xenophobic of to say foreigners are doing this or that. That is not the issue but the issue is that it raises security concerns here and there so these are all issues that were brought on the table and so a review was done regarding the situation and that’s where the decision was driven from,” he added.
“I remember there was a time when police management raised issues about them but there were issues of people being engaged in the business and were having their livelihood from the tricycles. At the time they were not even licensed but later the licenses issue was introduced and we started monitoring them but now it is realised that they are contributing significantly in traffic congestion,” he added.
He reaffirmed that the tuk-tuk will be banned from the traffic immediately after December. He said several stakeholders were engaged to ensure that the tuk-tuk were allowed to continue riding on the roads until after December when the licenses expired, and advised the tuk-tuk drivers to follow the regulations that are given by the police.