Inter-Ministerial Council on Accidents and Road Safety: no more meetings, yes to action!

39 people died and 79 were injured as a result of a road accident that took place in the city of Sikilo, Kaffrin region, on the night of January 7. Arousing emotion, anger and sadness among the entire Senegalese population. Reacting to this tragedy, the President of the Republic Macky Sall announced this“The Inter-Ministerial Council will be held on that date (this Monday, January 9, editor’s note) to take definitive measures regarding road safety and public passenger transportation.”

Only after this disaster, described as the first in the history of Senegal, and the decision of the head of state, it is unfortunately clear that tragedies are increasing, especially on our roads, and reactions from the authorities are being followed. are similar to each other with their announcements “firm measures” for “never at once”which is never acted upon. And then everything is thrown in the drawer, waiting for other tragedies to throw dust on these events “strong” the effectiveness of its application is still a problem.

For example, in October last year, during a visit to Tambajoun after the Koussanar accident that killed 16 people a few days earlier, the Minister of Infrastructure, Land Transport and Openings, Mansour Faye, announced the upcoming Inter-Ministerial Council. “High level meeting” It was an opportunity for the authorities to take measures to end road accidents.

Until this release of the Minister, traffic safety and traffic accidents, which result in more than 600 deaths and thousands of injuries every year, have been invited to the table of the Council of Ministers several times. As of Wednesday, November 6, 2019, President Macky Sall, using the weekly meeting with his ministers, announced the 2020“Year of Road Safety”. It is good that the Presidential Council should be held on this topic in the same year.

Earlier, in March 2017, during a visit to Saint Louis, after a traffic accident that claimed the lives of fifteen people, President Macky Sall said that it was time to take all measures to stop the bleeding, especially to stop the bleeding. had stated. temporary immobilization of all vehicles that do not have to pass a technical inspection, allowing the movement or transportation of people. Better yet, he admitted that the limits of tolerance had been crossed. But the phenomenon still continues. And a lot of posts on Twitter and calls for a sense of responsibility and respect for the Road Code after every drama of the genre will not do anything.

In a word, one of the main measures of the government, which was welcomed by the population at that time, was related to this issue “The 10 Commandments” which the government adopted in 2017 to combat road safety. These were the measures prepared by President Macky Sall at the end of the Inter-Ministerial Council held on February 9, 2017. It was:

“1- Any vehicle in circulation that has not been submitted to a technical inspection without a valid reason by the owner will be immobilized and impounded immediately after the expiry of the latter.

2- The repair works to be carried out on the motor vehicle will be noted by the expert responsible for the visits to the geographical area where the violation was committed and will be punished with a final penalty by giving an official notification about the repair within a month. decommissioning of said vehicle will be sent to the owner.

3- Transfer operations from Dakar to other regions for intercity vehicles for passengers and cargo are temporarily suspended.

4- Official ban on making changes to any vehicle designed for cargo transportation to turn it into a passenger vehicle.

5- Modification of original vehicles in order to increase passenger seats or create additional luggage racks is prohibited and zero tolerance is applied to overloading of people and luggage.

6- The minimum age required to drive intra-city passenger vehicles and city taxis is 25 years. The minimum age required to obtain a driver’s license for drivers of intercity public transport vehicles carrying passengers and cargo is 30 years.

7- Commitment to free registration of all motorized two-wheeled vehicles at the authorized services of the Ministry of Land Transport for a period of 6 months from Thursday, March 16, 2017.

8- It is mandatory for any driver of two-wheeled vehicles plying on public roads, with or without passengers, to wear an approved helmet under penalty of immediate immobilization. According to the regulatory provisions of the Highway Code, a fixed fine is prescribed against him.

9- Vehicles that are in such an unusable condition that their movement seriously compromises the safety of people or property will be removed.

10- Provisions of the Highway Code prohibiting the use of telephones while driving, exceeding the speed limit and mandatory wearing of seat belts, and providing for compliance with horizontal and vertical signs “will be strictly enforced”.

Five years later, the authorities are still struggling to implement these decisions, which, if effective, would have benefited the population who were the first victims of the deadly roads. Also, in the face of threats of strike by transporters who do not care about road safety, the end of the state is still to be regretted. “neat” its many measures and obligations; so that accidents are still a difficult matter, and terrible bleeding continues. So, it’s time to announce definitive measures, we need to act!

DIALLO to Ibrahim

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