How many fatal accidents would it require before something was done? Who and how many lives would be lost on our dangerous roads before the responsible authorities act? These are vital questions that need answers.
This is what you get in a nation where every single development and achievement is either attributed to the president or awaited his approval. Stagnation is obviously the only result you get. Do we need to wait for the president to intervene to safe our lives from our bad roads? It has been too many unacceptable road accidents around the country recently with devastating consiquencies, and still the government keeps mute over the rising problem.
It is guaranteed that more people will die on our roads when we have bad roads, better economic condition, more vehicles and a lame-duck road authority.
Negligence, failed priorities, failed projects on the side of the government with a relative self satisfied population or should I say lazy population, the government is in no way obliged to address these too many road accidents. What is taking place in our roads will not be acceptable in many parts of the world. People in the Gambia do not blame the government for being responsible for accidents, because they do not know or do not understand that their government is responsible for providing them with safe roads to drive on.
In today’s Gambia, road accidents take more innocent lives than malaria and smoking combined. There are preventive measures in place for malaria and smoking. Through NGOs people are being sensitised on preventive methods of malaria and smoking. Bill boards and radio announcements provide information to the public. Now, look at our dilapidated roads with only one lane in most of the busiest country roads and highway/highways. This one lane roads in many areas cause head on collisions. We need more highways between our cities and especially cities in rural Gambia. For us to reduce tragic accidents, we need an urgent thorough inventory of all feeder roads, country roads and highways. People and goods need to move quickly and most roads in the Gambia are country roads. The River Gambia, which lies idle with its huge pontential to move goods and people, could have alleviated our roads and create new jobs as well.
A concerted effort is what is needed from all sectors of government to address the road safety problem. Addressing these tragic accidents should be a top priority of the government’s long term strategy to have road-free accidents. A comprehensive traffic or road vision must be established to handle this urgent situation. Even a single death resulting from an accident on our roads is too many.
Legal and registered traffic learning schools, modern roads, good road signs, highway patrols, speed limits and traffic violation tickets are some of the tangible measures government can implement to reduce the amount of accident. Today our traffic is a jungle with no regulation because our government and the Road Authorities careless about our lives. The Safety Road Authority? what are they doing?
Majority of Gambian population believes in divine destiny, ascribing everthing to the making of ALLAH (SWT). We keep saying “it is the will of Allah” even though the fault lies in either ourselves or the government. The narrative becomes “Allah decree that they will die in an accident.” These are the illogical comments you saddly hear from people. Ultimately, the government escapes the hook of responsibility. People unknowingly protect the government and indirectly blame ALLAH (SWT) for what is purely the responsibility of our government.
With the exception of Pa Modou Bojang’s Home Digital FM, our media houses also shared responsibility for failing to use their platforms to pile pressure on our authorities.
We hope that the Road Authorities will wake up from their slumber and address this tragic situation on our roads.
These unneccesary deaths must stop now. Let us pray that things can be fixed with the help of a UDP-led government. A government of the people, by the people and for the people. A government that understands the gravity of the problem.
LET ALL GAMBIAN DRIVERS DRIVE SAFELY. REMEMBER THAT THE LIFE YOU SAFE MAY BE YOUR OWN. YOUR FAMILY WILL ALWAYS WANT TO SEE YOU BACK HOME ALIVE.