The Ministry of Transport and Aviation has ended a two-day Road Safety Workshop for transport stakeholders from the 25th -26th April, 2023 in Freetown.
This came to reality through the Sierra Leone Integrated Resilient and Urban Mobility Project (SLIRUMP) working with the Ministry in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) and the World Bank respectively.
The workshop was based on the motive to share road safety best practice and knowledge, raising awareness on mentality shift to address road safety, and highlighting evidence-based measures with Participants drawn from different related sectors including the SLP, SLRA, SLRSA, SLIRUMP, FCC, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Internal Affairs, Road Safety Watch, Talking Drum Studio, Transport Owners Association, Keke Union, Drivers Union, Traders Council, Passengers Welfare, CSOs and the Media.
In his statement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Honourable Kabineh Kalloh thanked the World Bank, SLRSA and SLIRUMP for organizing the workshop.
He said that the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority recorded 269 fatalities as a resulted of road traffic collisions in 2022 alone, noting that one life lost, is one too many.
“This is a tragic loss of human capital and encourage you all to join us in helping to prevent similar devastations and grief to other families,” Minister Kalloh noted.
He further maintained that while not all crashes are fatal, there are countless other reasons for stakeholders to take a more proactive approach to road safety, adding that the onus is on all of us as road users to ensure that we are alert, patient and responsible whenever we use the roads.
He expressed his Ministry’s commitment to work assiduously in ensuring that the elements that afford safety in the traffic environment are in place. He assured the participants and the general public that in the coming year, there would be robust measures instituted to further reduce traffic crashes across the urban areas through the implementation of the Sierra Leone Integrated and Resilient Urban Mobility Project (SLIRUMP).
He called on participants to make road safety part of the new and better habits that they will cultivate after the two-day road safety training.
“I challenge you to make careless driving, excessive speeding, consumption of alcohol, manipulating your phone and attempting to operate a vehicle, and non-wearing of safety devices such as seatbelt, child restraint systems and helmets, things of the past, ” Minister Kalloh emphasized.
He advised that all drivers drive defensively and always look out for pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and especially our more vulnerable road users, the elderly and children, in the traffic environment, noting that road safety begins with you.
In his response, the Word Bank Country Manager, Abdu Muwonge expressed his alienation over what he described as a strong partnership and collaboration with the Ministry and its transport stakeholders in the country.
He expressed his institution’s commitment in supporting projects not only SLIRUMP but also few other projects they have identified on roads safety within the country with experts and resource mobilization as was reported by the media unit at the Ministry Of Transport And Aviation (MOTA).