Road Accidents: Call For Responsibilities

The bell has been rung again from the highest office of the land. In his address to the nation last Sunday December 31, 2023, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, placed a premium on road safety. He stated the issue saying “Regarding safety, road accidents continue to plunge families into mourning and rob the country of precious human resource.” The Head of State further warned; “I want to make it clear that this is unacceptable! Once again, I appeal to the sense of responsibility of drivers and bus service operators. All necessary measures must be taken to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users.”
It was like a distress call in situations of danger meaning that Cameroon roads are bleeding even exceedingly too. And no statistics again would drum about the danger any better than the word from the highest authority. It is however important to note what usually causes these road mishaps and who is to blame for the tragedies on our roads.
Passengers and pedestrians alike either die or are injured in and from vehicles, loaded trucks, and motor bikes. Even people sleeping quietly in their beds in their homes have died from summersaulting vehicles with failed brakes piercing through the walls. Again, what are some of the causes bringing about such disastrous effects? Technicians of road transport note human, material and state of the road causes of accidents. At the top of the drawing board is the human cause of accidents. It starts with the inability to drive yet they take the steering. It proceeds with the lack of proper check of vehicles to get the machine in their proper functioning state. It is equally the attitude of drivers who, from alcohol or drug influence, still take the steering on highways. Under such chemical downer influence, the drivers exceed their speed, would not heed to passenger’s call for caution and would want to overtake all other vehicles on the road. Even when vehicle owners go for road worthiness certificates, they try to bribe the technicians to get the paper. That is why almost every driver on the highway holds a road worthiness note even shamelessly when the vehicle apparently is a jalopy, clunker, or junk. That is as far as human behavior is responsible for road accidents.  
The second major cause is the state of vehicles. It was reported some time in the past that Cameroonians imported the oldest second user vehicles from Europe. Even the tyres sold along the streets are third grade used ones. A motor tyre exploding on the highway in top speed must leave passengers in harm. The third cause of accidents appears to be the poor roads that remain without maintenance. Even worse is the fact that the roads are receiving more vehicles by the day without necessary attention on their state.
The key advice constantly dished out by road transport technicians to drivers and users is about their attitude. Even as passenger, one must be quite observant before boarding any vehicle. It is easy to observe if the driver is serious or not. Make sure the drivers are not on their phones while driving. Caution the driver if you deem the speed to be hazardous. Do not tell drivers that you are hurrying to your destination.  
For the passengers themselves, they should always wear their safety belts. Limit passenger nu...



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