SLRSA and some major stakeholders have celebrated the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week with an exhibition and a three day symposium at the Miatta Conference Hall Basement and Conference Hall at Youyi Building, Brookfields in Freetown.
There were display of various booths established by Total, Red Cross, Police and SLRSA to showcase the importance of Road Safety Week and Speed Management.
Stakeholders and Guests collected leaflets about Road Traffic Codes and Signs that warn road users to beware of speed limit.
The Senior Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Dennis Vandi formally declared the road safety programme opened.
He congratulated the Management and Staff of SLRSA and stakeholders in commemorating the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Sandi advised vehicle owners and drivers to be very cautious whilst driving on the highway and to have respect for other road users.
Dr. Mamud Kalokoh who is a Board Member at SLRSA, informed the guests that road crashes in Sierra Leone especially in Africa have increased exponentially because of poor road networks.
He said this is an important programme that we should recognize in the UN chapter.
The Executive Director of SLRSA, Dr. Sarah Bendu in her statement welcomed the Chairman, the Minister of Transport and Aviation Hon. Leonard Balogun Logus Koroma and his Deputy Minister Mr. MA Jalloh, Representatives of the Donor Agencies, SLP, National Insurance Commission, the Forth Estate and Distinguished personalities.
She extended her gratitude to representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone, Guests and other stakeholders for leaving their busy schedules to be at the 4th UN Global Safety Week.
She informed them about the commemoration that started 8th -14th of May with the Theme: Speed Management, Save Lives and Slow Down.
She informed them that they have highlighted several activities, which started with a highway patrol programme to check drivers and vehicles for license and those who are under the influence of alcohol and the use of seat belt.
She informed the guests why they focused on speed management as the theme for this year. She explained that speed has a positive effect on mobility in terms of reducing transport times, but it impactS negatively on road safety affecting both the likelihood of a road crash and the severity of it consequences.
She explained that speed also has adverse effect on the level of environmental and noise pollution, the live habit of urban areas.
She explained that 2017 Global Week which seeks broader understanding of why speed is a risk factor in road traffic crashes and injury and the importance of tackling it with a range of different measures.
In order to successfully promote, design and implement a speed management programme, it is important to understand the role of speed in road traffic crashes and the relationship between speed severities in those crashes.
She explained such information is very important in persuading political leaders, law makers, stakeholders and the public to speed management programmes.
A representative from Total, Mr. Mohamed Kallon, praised SLRA Management especially Dr. Sarah Bendu for recognizing the UN Global Road Safety Week.
They donated road safety cube boxes to the Executive Director for their school clubs for the road safety awareness raising campaign.
Power Point Presentation was done by various representatives from the World Bank, WHO, UN, SLP, Road Maintenance Fund Management and SLRA Director General, Memunatu Kumba-Jalloh. They all called for the speed management action plan to be implemented as soon as possible.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma who deputized the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma had the honor to speak to the Government Strategy for Road Safety on the 4th UN Global Safety Week in Freetown.
He explained that deaths are a tragedy for all affected, while injury can cause suffering, economic loss, life changing, and misfortune in our society.
Financial looses to individuals and families, as in many cases, not mitigated by adequate insurance coverage or safety net, therefore families may lose their only bread winner or left with high health care bills.
He dilated on the 2016 WHO Global Road Safety Report and he quoted, the Global status on road safety 2015 reflecting information from 180 countries indicating that worldwide, the total number of road traffic deaths has reached 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in some poor African countries.
He opined out that most often road crashes and fatalities are a reflection of the attitude of some drivers or motorists in over speeding, fatigue of drivers especially truck or lorry drivers when driving on a long distances.
Poor road conditions and poor maintenance vehicle lead to frequent road crashes, he said.
He explained that as a Government they believe further policies are required to strengthen the existing policies, even though our agencies have tried their level best in their implementation.
He commended SLRSA as the lead agency responsible for developing and implementing programmes/activities, aim at reducing road crashes as they have been trying to actualize the UN decade of action by 2020.
He explained that SLRA and SLRSA and the Road Maintenance Fund are concerned about the need for improvement on Road Safety.
He said over the years they have made concerted efforts in managing the limited available resources and ensuring timely intervention as defined in the UN decade of action for road safety 2020.
SLRSA stakeholders and Inter-Religious Council held ecumenirical services at the Miatta Hall in praying for those who have lost their lives in injuries and gruesome accidents in the entire Sierra Leone.
An Inter-Religious Council Representative paid homage and respect for the dead and commended Rev. Pamela Johnson and Sheik Abu Bakarr from SLRSA for laying out several wreaths at the Lumley Roundabout for those who have lost their lives in road accidents over the last one year.