The Traffic Division of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) last Friday launched the Road Safety Annual Crime Report for 2017 in which they recorded 3,189 accidents involving motor vehicles, tricycles, motor cycles and bicycles.
While launching the report, Director of Traffic Management and Road Safety, Chief Superintendent of Police Sahr Y. Senesi said the launchwas a watershed event as that was their second annual crime report.
He said data for the report was sourced primarily from various traffic command divisions and regions across the country which was in turn compiled to produce a national statistic of road crashes in 2017.
Superintendent Senesi told newsmen at Police headquarters in Freetown that traffic enforcement was a cross-cutting activity, thus adding that the SLP road management and traffic division, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) and other stakeholders compiled the report to bring sanity in the road users.
“This is the second annual traffic report. It shields light on a number of road causality. In Sierra Leone, road accident is one of the leading causes of death in the country. Freetown recorded the highest road accident death with 86 people followed by North-West 82 and country wide a total of 402 which accounts for 12.6%,” he said.
He identified failure to observe traffic rules and regulations, drunk driving and over loading, driving on the wrong way on a one-way street, and drowsy driving as some of the causes of road accidents.
He noted that the SLP operational actions to enhance traffic management and road safety include proactive and robust traffic laws and breathalyser test, including testing for drunkenness and drugs, among other measures.
He further stated general traffic checks, especially during the festive and raining season, and the operation to remove commercial motor bikes from the Central Business District as some of the moves to mitigating road accidents.
“The Directorate will continue to withhold and work together with stakeholders to enhance enforcement and keep our roads safe. Road safety is our collective responsibility and we should endeavour to observe traffic rules and regulations not only during this festive period but at all times,” he said.
Meanwhile, Road Traffic Expert Victor Ako Mengot said the report indicates marked improvement from the 2016 report which was done by the out gone Director of Road Safety.
Earlier, Director of Community Affairs, Assistant Inspector General Edward Kalia Sesay said the general security situation in the country was relatively calm, contrary to a US Embassy travel advisory that had gone viral on the social media a fortnight ago.