Dire Need for Intensive Control

Seven people again perished in a ghastly road accident on February 14, at the locality of Matango Club near Nkongsamba on the Bafoussam-Douala highway. Several passengers were reported wounded, some seriously and others traumatised. According to a press statement issued by the Minister of State, Minister of Transport, Bello Bouba Maigari, the accident which involved a bus belonging to Kami Voyage Transport Company, resulted from the drunken state of the bus driver and the poor technical state of the vehicle.

The bad news came a few days after a similar accident caused by a bus belonging to the same company was reported between Bandjoun and Baham. According to Cameroon-Info Net, the Kami bus is said to have crushed a private car following a technical fault killing several people, some who were members of the same family. Careless driving, poor state of the vehicle and drunkenness of the drivers are seriously identified to be the main cause of the accidents.The series of accidents coming from the same company suspended some years back for the same reason could not leave the administration indifferent. The decision suspending indefinitely the said company from all transportation activities in the country is a welcome act. Memories remain fresh on the same decision taken on Amour Mezam Express, one of the popular transport companies that ply the western region of the country.The Minister of State in the suspension decision, called on passengers and other road users to be vigilant and responsible and to defend their security during journeys. He equally urged them to oppose all dangerous behaviours from drivers reporting such ungentlemanly comportments to the administration for appropriate sanctions. That notwithstanding, about 80 per cent of the series of accidents recorded on the highways are human-made. Some of these include overloading, poor driving, unqualified drivers, non mastery of the Highway Code, bad state of the vehicles, poor state of roads, and pressure from passengers.But all these can be avoided, and for this to happen, the control system must be tightened. This, in earnest, is the biggest challenge for the administration. The present control mechanism is characterised by money-driven negligence from control agents, bribery and corruption, and discrimination. Heavily loaded vehicles are seen plying past control posts without checks while normally loaded ones are stopped for serious screening. Truck drivers transporting sand from the Sanaga River to Yaounde will relate the story better. To go by one of them, an unwritten contract has virtually been signed between them and control agents wherein they are required to pay in a defined amount whenever they ply past them. The arrangement is so clear that the drivers are said to sometimes fling the money to the agents when they (drivers) find themselves driving up a steep hill where it is difficult to stop and hand the booty directly.Whereas some people suggest that the whole system be revised beginning from the state of vehicles imported into the country to the licence-delivery cacophony, there seem to be urgent need to take control to certain areas including motor parks. This implies that control teams must check the state of the vehicles before they leave their agencies. Extremists think it would be necessary for some control agents to take a sit in the vehicle and monitor the comportment of the driver after the vehicle has been screened at the park. These and many other devices seriously await the transport administration.LUKONG Pius NYUYLIME, CT

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