Over 60 vehicles belonging to the government of Sierra Leone have been impounded by the country’s Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) in a major clampdown on unlicensed and uninsured vehicles.
A spokesman for the SLRSA told journalists that the operation is targeting government ministries, departments and agencies and geared towards forcing institutions to regularize the status of their vehicles, including license registration and insurance, as well as road worthiness.
Mr. Eric Sam, Acting Director of Safety and Enforcement, said the move was part of efforts to control the country’s high death rates due to road accidents. Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of deaths due to road accident, he added.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data for 2017, some 1,842 deaths were recorded for road traffic accidents that year, representing 2.25 percent of total deaths.
Mr. Sam said the operation is also part of efforts to fulfill the country’s commitment to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020 which seeks to stabilize and reduce the forecast level of road traffic deaths around the world.
He stressed that the SLRSA would not tolerate any government-owned vehicle on the street without proper documentation. He added that many of the vehicles being held by the Authority were seized during an operation at Youyi Building which houses several government ministries.
He added, “What we found out in this operation is that a lot of government vehicles are licensed but are not insured,” the official said, noting that some vehicles were last insured of licensed as late as in 2012.