Tuesday, March 28

The Gambia is not investing enough in road safety –Says Drammeh

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By Binta Jaiteh

Musa Drammeh, Director of Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure has revealed that the Gambia is not investing enough when it comes to road safety measures annually, adding that only five million dalasi is budgeted for an estimated population of two million people for proper road management.

“If we want our road to be developed as a country, we need to invest more in the road sector, there is no lane for pedestrians and that is why we have mixed traffic. In that case when people and vehicles mix, there are always serious accidents that occur,” Mr. Drammeh observed as he presented a topic on road safety training for journalists at a local hotel in Senegambia.

He added that there is a general acceptance that no matter what they do, road traffic accidents will always occur due to one reason or another, but when they occur, they need to make sure that the impacts are minimized.

“In 2021 we had 125 fatalities if you look at the number of car crashes that significantly shows that it goes up and the statistics show that something must be done. If you are to analyse from 2011 to 2021 on average, 121 people died as a result of car accidents and this statistic is worrying,” he lamented.

According to him, when the issue of road crashes came to the limelight in 2004, one of the recommendations was for the country to establish an agency and develop a road safety strategy in tackling the road safety problem, while highlighting the strategy developed for road safety from  2021-2030.

Drammeh commended The Gambia Police Force for a job well done, while urging that data from the Police and the health officials need to be coordinated for reliable accident data in the country.

“The road safety measures should be a responsibility of everyone because no matter what effort the government makes, if people are not disciplined, accidents will continue to occur and more fatalities as well. The Gambia is attempting to coordinate this effort at the level of the Ministry but to be honest, it is still weak, we have institutions that are working in isolation and that is discouraging, so we need to strengthen the road safety management system in the country’’ he concluded.