National Assembly Members Sensitized on Road Safety Issues

 

 

As key partners in the overall drive to improve safety on our roads amid serious road crashes, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure (MoTWI), on Saturday, 2nd October, 2021 organized a one-day sensitization forum with members of The National Assembly at Metzy Hotel in Kotu.

One of the objectives of the sensitization workshop were   to inform National Assembly members how far MoTWI has gone with plans of making our Gambian roads safer, what were the challenges, what is the way forward, and what issues  are there that the members of the National Assembly could champion regarding road safety in their various constituencies.

 

  Deputizing for the Permanent Secretary of MoTWI, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ousman Ceesay, said the involvement of members of the National Assembly was crucial as they constitute the body responsible for the formulation of laws in the country.

Furthermore, he added that research has shown the important role members of the National Assembly can play in curbing road crashes.

“Among the seven road safety management functions, the role of National Assembly members is key. For example, it is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2004 that countries legislate the establishment of a lead Agency for road safety. This cannot be achieved without the support of National Assembly members,” he said.

He added that the establishment and application of comprehensive national road traffic safety laws and regulations to ensure the prevention of hazardous road safety behavior cannot be achieved without the involvement of the National Assembly Members.

“It is important to highlight that over the years, several legislations, such as the use of seat belts and non-use of mobile phones while driving, were enacted in The Gambia. I am elated to state that the enforcement of these legislations can be exemplary for other countries in the sub region,” he told the participants.

However, DPS Ceesay added that despite registering these success stories, there are still challenges with regards to road safety, such as inadequate or obsolete legislations, thus the need to review some of these traffic laws.

“I have no doubt that, today, with the caliber of Honorable members we have, marks the beginning of a new era in our collective efforts to improve road safety in The Gambia,” he said.

Honorable Sulayman Saho, member for Central Badibou, who doubled as the Chair of the Select Committee on Transport at the National Assembly, took the opportunity to call on his fellow National Assembly members to allocate more funding to the road safety component under the  Ministry for it  to be able to implement activities on road safety and related issues.

He further called upon his colleagues to raise more awareness campaigns in their different constituencies in order to minimize road crash incidents in the country, noting that the Assembly will support anything that is geared towards making our roads safer.

At the end of the day, different topics were presented, such as global road safety status, road safety status in The Gambia, African road safety charter, and the progresses made so far in the implementation of 2021 road safety work plan of MoTWI.

 

By Lamin Njie

Assistant Information Officer

MoTWI