Gov’t urged to introduce traffic wardens to curb congestion


By Omar Bah The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai has called on the Gambia government to consider introducing Police Traffic Warden System in the greater Banjul to curb traffic congestion. “The issue of traffic congestion has been a nightmare over the past 20 years or so, and there is need for the government to immediately mobilize efforts to address it before it is too late,” Njai said in a Standard exclusive, adding that it is unfortunate that people continue to park their vehicles randomly on all sides of the road without giving any regard to instructions or the police. The IEC chairman further explained that the traffic warden personnel will not necessarily be police but will directly work with the police in complementing their efforts to ensure the traffic is free. “Their responsibility will be to ensure that whosoever parks in a no parking area is charged and ordered to pay a certain fine. Any driver they found wanting will be given a certain period to pay a certain amount and if he/she fails to comply they will report the person to the police who will arrest the offender and take the person before a court of law,” he noted. He said although expanding roads in certain areas will have cost implication if they infringe on already built properties, “the government can introduce warden traffic systems that will ensure that traffic offenders are handed fines to be paid within a certain period or they are taken to court. “It is important for the government to recognise that there are areas they should plan better because the country’s population is increasing everyday. The only way we can avoid blames from our great grand children is to start making better plans to cater for the future,” he added. He said during his time as Mayor of KM in 2007 he visited the Lord Mayor of London and discussed with him the traffic warden system and he was directed to Hampshire who informed him that they were willing to train up to 13 Gambians on the traffic warden program. “During my time as Mayor I tried my best to introduce the system in KMC but before I could do anything I was fired. But I would want to call on the current Mayor to take up the initiative. I will also urge him to provide flyovers on some of the most congested streets to ensure that we ease the burden of traffic,” he said. “Looking at the increase in population there is no way this current system of roads can accommodate us. I will also want to urge the Minister of works to widen some of the roads that can be widened, especially in certain streets that will need immediate attention.” Mr Njai also called for the immediate removal of petty-traders selling on the highway, adding that they should be relocated to give space. “The truth is, the roads are not shops but for people and vehicles to ply on.”]]>