Monday, 21 August 2017
Open Letter to the Inspector General of Police
I am writing this letter to your high office as per the news concerning road accidents which are increasing day by day in our deaths every day. The citizens are not safe on the roads of Banjul to Brikama and across the country. Road accidents have been on the increase in the country in spite of the precaution of the traffic measures.
The main cause of road accidents is harsh driving. People drive their vehicles carelessly. Some drivers drive their vehicles after taking some drink. But it is dangerous because drinking and driving can't go together.
We all know that human lives are precious and it can't be left on these careless drivers who ignore the road cautions and signals. We should not show mercy on them. They should be caught and punished. Beside it regular patrolling of police on important places and Dope-test of drivers should be done regularly. The rules should be followed strictly to avoid these accidents.
These road accidents occur due to the lack of civic sense in the people and their ignorance of road and traffic signals. The pedestrians are overrun because they try to cross the roads at places of their choice. The number of accidents of people riding scooters and bicycles are very high because most of the young men are beginners and do not know how to ride on traffic.
It is high time that your noble institution took a serious view of the lapses on the part of the drivers. This can be done only by levying heavy fines and the forfeiture of their licenses. Licenses, too, should be checked frequently.
I have seen many walkers, runners, joggers and bicyclists practicing potentially dangerous actions being on the wrong side of the road. Runners, walkers and joggers should always be on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
Being on the right side with traffic at your back can be dangerous because you cannot see traffic coming and cannot get out of the way if it is close to you.
It may not be possible for cars to move to the left due to traffic in the lanes to their left. When it is dark, people should wear or carry something reflective so motorists can see them.
Practicing these simple rules will assure our safety. Parents, should be advised to tell their children to abide by the traffic rules and set examples by practicing the rules too.
The rule of the road for bicyclists is to always ride on the right side of the road the same way that cars are traveling. Ride to the side of the road and abide by the same rules that cars follow stopping for all stop signs and red traffic lights.
An excellent safety item for a bicycle is a rear view mirror so you can see traffic behind you and move safely to the side of the road. Bicycles should have reflectors on the bike and clothing if riding at night. A light and rear reflector will help motorist see the bike riders better.
Several bike riders in the past year have suffered serious head injuries in bike accidents because they were not wearing a helmet.
Motorists, should be aware of bicyclists, runners and walkers. When they come upon them, they should slow down and move to the left and safely go around them. They should not honk or yell at them. This could startle the person and lead to an accident.
I shall be grateful if you kindly give consideration to the matter so that the traffic authorities wake up to the need of security of the people and take strong measures against the erring drivers.
The Gambia belongs to us The Gambians both those home and abroad, and by putting our thoughts on paper we shall reach at a solution.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou