The Board and Management of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority [SLRSA] has on Friday June 17, 2022 commenced a two days Board and Management Retreat at the Garden State Hall in Makeni City with the theme “Rebranding SLRSA to Maximize Road Safety and Revenue Generation”.
Welcoming the participants and stakeholders, the Mayor of the municipality of Makeni Her worship Sunkari Kabbah on behalf of the Citizenry of her municipality welcomed the SLRSA delegation to the modest but great city of Makeni. The Mayor intimated that, this year’s theme was crucial, saying improving Road Safety was critical to the World Bank’s twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity. The Mayor noted that, a World Bank assessment done showed that, low and middle income countries suffer 90% of the 1.35 million road crash deaths. She thanked the Road Safety Corps nationwide for the stressful and exhausting days and for the long shifts and late nights they often spend in enforcing road safety laws.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of the SLRSA, Rev. Smart K Senesie said, the retreat would be a major shift from the traditional way of organizing retreat by SLRSA. He maintained that, in an effort to enhance service delivery, reflect global priorities as enshrined in various local laws [Road Transport Act and the Regulations of 2007], International Road Safety Instruments [the UN decade of action for Road Safety 2021-2030], African Road Safety Charter and the ECOWAS Road Safety Action Plans, the SLRSA is required to demonstrate greater commitment in Road Safety Management. “It is therefore, absolutely necessary to pursue a rebranding process that will reflect current day realities in Road Safety” the Executive Director espoused.
The rebranding process the Executive Director said would enable the authority to focus on the promotion of efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness in Road Safety Management without abandoning the original core functions of registering of vehicles, licensing of drivers and enforcing Road Safety.
Rev. Smart K. Senesie furthered that, the initiative was in effect based on sound and in-depth review and evaluation of core fractions of the authority and recent development in Road Safety measures, the expressed objective of saving lives and minimizing adverse socio-economic ramifications, the benefits of the proposed rebranding the Executive Director said would enhance stakeholders collaborations, improve service delivery, strengthen SLRSA capacity through effective and efficient management structures and more revenue generation.
In his Keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Rex Bonapha noted with caution that, the data published by the SLRSA indicated that, there were 2,439 accidents in 2021 alone with 835 fatalities, stating that, two people were killed everyday on average on our roads.
Minister Bonapha encouraged the participants to talk about traffic safety signage along the the highways that would enable drivers to know whether they were approaching a bend, a steep hill, or the presence of a road hazard. He expressed concern over the way Road Safety Corps and SLP enforce the law and appealed to them not to concentrate to punishing people in violation but to prevent possible infractions.
The President of the Motor Drivers Union Alpha Amadu Bah emphasized the importance of the theme stating that, it would help to reduce poverty caused by Road Crashes that often leads to disabilities, loss of lives and properties and would further reduce if not eradicate road accidents and road crashes.
Notable contributions were made by the chairman Parliamentary committee on Transport and Aviation and the Deputy Executive Director of the SLRSA.
The ceremony was chaired by the Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Alhassan Konneh.