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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Police IG Warns Lawless Ministers

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Police IG Warns Lawless Ministers

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This practice is not only contrary to Traffic Rules and Regulations, which are punishable by law, but also, it demoralizes disciplined and law-abiding users of the road, and has the potential to cause fatal accidents, particularly when they drive against recognized traffic.

With immediate effect therefore, all vehicles and motor-driven objects, including vehicles carrying Ministers of Government (save Emergency Vehicles as defined by law) MUST adhere to Traffic Rules and Regulations. Any vehicle or motor-driven object that violates Traffic Rules and Regulations, particularly those that run against the traffic will face the full force of the law.

The Inspector General of Police and the Chief Executive of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority are advised accordingly.”

In response, the Inspector General of Police has issued a strong warning, saying that the SLP has observed that some members of the general public are in the habit of engaging in careless and irresponsible driving, commonly referred to as ‘broke traffic’.”

The release added that the SLP has also observed that some members of the public are in the habit of concealing the number plates of their vehicles, which is illegal and dangerous.

It added that henceforth, it is an offence under section 104 of the Road traffic Act No.5 of 2007 for motorists to be engaged in “careless and inconsiderate driving” and that section 5 of the same Act forbids the use of “obscured identification mark/plate.”

According to the SLP release, the SLP “would like to make it abundantly clear that the directorate of road safety and traffic management in the Sierra Leone Police are under firm instruction to ensure that they arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone found wanting or violating the section (s) of the Road Traffic Act of Sierra Leone as applicable.

It should be noted that Sierra Leone is among the countries in West Africa with the highest road traffic accidents. Every month at least six people die on the country’s roads.

The cost of traffic congestion on the country – caused by poorly and illegally parked vehicles, motorists driving on the wrong direction and in restricted areas, is putting a massive strain on the economy.

While responsibility and blame is being placed on drivers generally, the government is now pointing fingers at public officials that are blatantly abusing their status and office, to flagrantly violate traffic rules.

Many in Sierra Leone believe that the problem lies with the police who are failing to enforce the law. “They are far too busy collecting bribes and looking the other way. Sierra Leone is lawless,” says one angry pedestrian in Freetown.

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