By Omar Bah
The Gambia Transport Union has issued a statement raising serious concern about the current spate of traffic accidents. The country has been experiencing deadly accidents claiming dozens of lives in the last few months alone.
In a statement shared with The Standard, GTU said: “It is of great concern to the Union regarding the increasing number of road accidents in our dear motherland, and it is time we come out and address the issue. We need to take drastic steps toward addressing it. First and foremost is to review our motor traffic act and the insurance act because these laws have existed since colonial days.
“We have many vehicles on our roads today and almost all of them are with valid insurance covers, for both passenger vehicles and goods. But it is very unfortunate that many victims are not benefiting from the insurance compensation. Many insurance companies are not fulfilling their mandate, as it is mandatory insurance for all vehicles to be insured before using our roads it should also be mandatory compensation to the accidents and victims. We are urgently calling on the Central Bank of Gambia as the regulatory authority to assess insurance companies and their claims.
“If one goes to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital you will see how road accident victims are faring without receiving any compensation from insurance companies. Many people lost their lives in road accidents and their families never received any compensation from insurance companies. Many people are in our homes with permanent injuries and they have never received any compensation from insurance companies. Therefore one may ask what is the essence of insurance. Many insurance companies should be scrutinized in order to check their ways of operations.
“We are urgently calling on the Gambia Police Force not to enforce insurance on our roads because many Gambians are not benefiting from insurance cover. We are urgently calling on the commissioner of insurance to strictly monitor the operation of insurance companies. We are urgently calling on the Central Bank of the Gambia, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport, the Gambia Police Force, the National Assembly, and GCCPC to step in so that we will have a level playing ground for everyone.
Our new slogan is no settlement of claims, no payment of premium.”