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King Colley, NRA director disagree on using speed bumps to curb accidents

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By Tabora Bojang

The commissioner of Mobile Traffic, Lamin King Colley, has argued that the only way road traffic accidents can be mitigated in The Gambia is to cosnstruct speed bumps across all major roads.

Growing number of fatal road traffic accidents continues to plague the country with many casualties recorded each year.  In 2022, the World Road Traffic Accident Index, which measures global road accidents, ranked Gambia eighth in terms of fatality in road accidents.

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Most of these accidents are attributed to negligence, reckless driving, over speeding, driving under intoxication and questionable issuance of driver licences.

Concerned with these developments, the National Assembly’s defence committee conducted a multi-stakeholder engagement to solve the menace.

Addressing the meeting, traffic commissioner King Colley stated that investigations have revealed that roads with speed bumps commonly known as “sleeping police” have been found to have registered the lowest road accidents in The Gambia and Senegal.

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He cited the Barra-Amdalai road as one example of such roads that rarely records accidents. According to him, the same procedures apply in Senegal where entry points, middle points and the outskirts of all major towns have speed bumps.

Commissioner Colley disputed claims that bumps will hamper the movement of other essential service providers such as ambulances.

He said the police have recommended to the National Roads Authority the need to build over 150 speed bumps on various roads across the country to reduce accidents.

However, NRA’s managing director Ousman Sanyang, described lack of “education and awareness” on the use of roads as among factors influencing the rate of accidents in The Gambia.

“Education and awareness is an important component which will perhaps help us a lot in terms of accident problems. Most of our people really don’t know how to use these roads. So once people are educated, we will see a lot of change,” Sanyang added. 

He said although speed bumps have the potential to improve road safety, it needs a bit of patience in terms of how it can be implemented on the roads. “Because if you start getting road bumps on all our strategic roads especially our key roads which are meant to move people quickly and fast, you defeat the whole purpose of the infrastructure because it does slow down people.  There are places we can put these bumps on but we have to be cautious because it could reduce operational efficiency.”

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