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Vox pop: How Can The Rampant Accidents On Our Roads Be Curbed 

By Francis Tim Mbom, Quinta-Belle, Franka Tankeng, Francis Ngoh Bau, Marie Ngana & Jude Fuhnwi

The government should create a means through which the drivers are sensitised on aspects of the highway like traffic codes. Drivers themselves should be conscious that they are dealing with human life.
Sylvester Bezen, Driver, Yaounde
Construction Of Roads

Accidents on our roads can only be avoided if the government constructs roads. I was a passenger in a car which, after entering a pothole, almost ended in a ghastly accident.
Simon Cho, Motor Mechanic/Driver, Y’de

Education And Discipline
Accidents can be avoided if everyone is educated on how to use the road. If drivers are disciplined and the traffic police do their work well, then, accidents will not occur. Every driver needs to pass through a driving school before possessing a driving license and to avoid bad driving, especially in towns where every one seems to be in a rush. Lastly, our roads are too small, particularly the highways. The government needs to construct more roads to ensure safety.
Anne-Verdert Njembe, National Printing Press, Y’de

Pedestrians, Drivers, Gov’t, Have A Part To Play
The population and the drivers need to be educated on how to use the road. Some people don’t know on which side to move on the road when they are going left or right; this is dangerous. We have drivers who have never been to any driving school but have driver’s licenses. This kind of people are a danger to humanity. Our roads too are a problem; they are too narrow and, so, overtaking becomes very difficult leading to accidents.

The government needs to widen the roads and even straighten those which have very winding ones. Security measures should be intensified; police officers should check speeding and the technical conditions of vehicles to ensure that they are in good state. We need hovering crafts on our roads to dictate the speed of drivers, check them and correct them. Generally everyone needs to know the Highway Code and have in mind that "every road user is a mad person," so that you avoid colliding.
Aku Regina Morikang, Teacher

Careful And Scrupulous Driving
Most accidents happen at night and that is because the oncoming driver’s light blurs the other driver which more often leads to a ghastly accident. The police should check the lights of vehicles to ensure that they are properly adjusted, if not the police should hold them until the following morning to teach them the lesson the hard way.

For those accidents which happen during the day, it is mostly due to bad driving; either the driver is drunk or they don’t just respect the Highway Code. I am saying this as a road user who sees these things everyday. I think if all this is revised, accidents on our roads will be reduced.
Orlando Aku Monju, Contractor

Collective Effort Of Gov’t, Drivers, Others
Road accidents in Cameroon constitute a second killer of persons after malaria. The problem is sometimes the drivers over speed. Then, the government, too, needs to constantly sensitise the drivers and even other road users. I think preventing road accidents can only be a collective effort between the government, the drivers and road users.
Jose Wes Ndale, African Youth Centre, Limbe

Drivers Need To Limit Their Speed
Over-speeding is always the cause of fatal accidents, like the accident that happened recently along the Tiko-Douala Highway. The drivers, first of all, need to limit their speed. The Road Safety teams have to go out to the roads and check speed. The road users, too, must try to be careful when crossing the road because, in most cases, before a driver realises, he has knocked down a pedestrian, simply because the latter did not take ample precaution to look left, right and left, again, before crossing the road.

The other causes border on the bad state of our roads, bad state of some of the cars and most especially the tyres. Most often, drivers don’t bother about the state of their tyres before going behind the wheel. Before long, you will have a puncture that sends your car crashing off the road.
Roland Oben, Driver, Limbe

Stop Issuing Of Licences To Undeserved Drivers
It is said that where a road passes, development follows. Our roads have become slaughter houses because of rampant road accidents.  The first thing is that there is the illegal issuing of driving licences. Today you see a car washer; tomorrow he is a taxi driver or driving a lorry. He has no idea of the Highway Code.  He gets to a roundabout and he doesn’t know which way to take and, bang! there is an accident. These accidents are also due to the state of the vehicles.

You see people driving vehicles with no brakes; no lights, no indicators and this can be dangerous.  Another problem is that of road safety campaigns. Sometimes they stand at blind corners and halt drivers suddenly; this can possibly cause an accident. Poor weather too contributes its own quota like when there is fog or when the road is slippery due to heavy rains. On the other hand, when there is dust, visibility becomes difficult.

I therefore propose that the government should be strict on how these licences are issued. We should go back to the old ways of getting what they used to call road worthiness issued by a competent commissioner of police.  There is something now called "visite technique." You  go there they take the number of the car; do some kind of funny thing, provided you pay the FCFA 10,000, they sign the certificate and hand to you. 

And when it is presented on the road, the gendarmes are happy that you have it whereas the car has nothing in relation to the "visite technique."  Another thing is that the driving schools should be in order with a curriculum and a syllabus to actually teach drivers the Highway Code.  I also think teaching the Highway Code in the primary schools will help the situation. I studied the code when I was at that level in the 1960s. 
Samuel Tangye- NW Regional Pedagogic Inspector of French, Bamenda

Limit Speed, Maintain Vehicles
To avoid road accidents, we should limit our speed because excessive speed and recklessness are responsible for most of the accidents we have today.  If drivers also maintain their cars properly, accidents will not be as common as is the case now.
Augustine Fuh Aliki, Spare Parts Seller, Bamenda

Stop Police Bribery & Corruption
We need competent drivers on the road to avoid this situation. Overloading is also a call for concern, because as a vehicle is overloaded, the driver finds it difficult to handle any danger that comes his way.  A good example occurred in Mile 7, Mankon, where six people lost their lives due to this over-loading. I think the police are responsible because they collect huge sums from the taxi drivers who, in turn, will want to balance the money given to the police. 

The police should come out on the road to do their work and not to take bribes because we rather find them angry with us when we present our documents to them.  They would call us all sorts of names and will look for a foolish motive to exploit money from us.  When they do this, what do you expect the driver to do? He is now compelled to carry overload, putting himself in serious difficulties and the consequences is an accident. 

So, to put an end to the many accidents, the police should be called to order so that the drivers can do their job properly.  Drivers too should try to receive proper training by going to driving schools.  Though I’m an educated man, faced with the crisis of our country, I had to go back and patiently sit in a class to learn driving in a school, and I have never had an accident through the years. 
Cletus Niba, Taxi Driver Bamenda

Transport Authorities Need Check Cyclists
Most of the accidents which occur on a daily basis are those involving bikes and cyclist and it really constitutes a societal problem. The Ministry of Transport has to do something about it. They should institute licences for bike riders and, in a case the rider is irresponsible, the licence can be seized or suspended.  If disciplinary measures are taken, bike riders will respect the lives of their passengers.

A visit to the hospital will prove to you that eight out of ten victims of an accident are by bike. Talking about highway accidents, the road safety people are not doing their job. They are there to check over-load because vehicle manufacturers make them to carry a certain capacity. Thus, exceeding this capacity means killing the brakes, stability and control of the car.  So the road safety police should do their job and stop going after FCFA 500 from drivers. 
Pastor RIC- Bamenda

Arrest Clandestine Driving
The solution to rampant road accidents in Cameroon lies in the fight against clandestine driving: people don’t want to go to driving schools because they claim they are expensive. They prefer paying little money to unprofessional taxi drivers for training. This is dangerous to the society because they neither have the basic knowledge in driving nor the Highway Code. 

We the owners of driving schools are aware of such practice but we do not have the powers to stop them. So, if the government can come out with a team or give us the powers to track down clandestine drivers, it will, at least, reduce these accidents; if not stop them completely.

We find them in the quarters and even in the Bafut Airport training drivers clandestinely yet we cannot do anything positive to put an end to it.  This is what brings unprofessionalism in the field because you even find some of them driving along the highways to Yaounde, Douala and other places, without having sufficient training to do it. This is a great danger to passengers and pedestrians.
Loveline Kum, Proprietress, Ce:Mo:ret Driving School, Bamenda

Agencies Should Employ Two Drivers Per Bus
To end these excessive accidents, I will suggest that agencies employ two drivers per bus; one to and another one from the destination, to avoid a situation where a driver will single-handedly carryon this arduous task alone, even when he is so tired and has not had time to rest. Excessive speed too should be checked by road safety agents. They should advised drivers to drive slowly and should possibly seize licences of drivers who fail to comply.

The number of passengers per bus too should be respected. Drivers should not pick extra passengers along the way because of money. This is very risky, especially now that schools are about to resume.  All the agencies should be conscious of all these and make sure they warn their drivers. Drivers should not hurry in their quest for money because "it is better late than never" and life cannot be bought with money nor compensated with it. 

Drivers should avoid drinking alcohol especially while driving because is can cost lives. I can make them to fall asleep and, just a second of sleep on the steering, can do away with many lives. They should have enough rest too; eat well in order to avoid stress.  It is very necessary especially during long journeys.
Mrs. Joana Beriyuy, Nurse, Bamenda

Gov’t Should Provide Good Roads
The roads should be made good and big and I think there should be proper checks for drivers licenses; whether drivers really go through training to get the license. Because, there is a saying that most drivers just go and buy licenses and start driving. If that is done, road accidents would be reduced.
Etchu Egbe, Administrative Ass; UB

Recklessness, Restlessness Should Be Checked
I think the real issue should go with behavioural habits of those who ply the roads, because drivers are extremely reckless, they think a little and do not respect road signs. If all of these things are put under control, that is, enough sleep, respect road signs, it is going to work positively.
Tim Michael, Researcher,GCE Board, Buea

Transport Ministry Should Reorganise Programme
I think we should start from the ministry of transport to reorganise its programme in relation to how they issue out licenses, organise driving schools, since the accidents are mostly caused by untrained drivers commonly called ‘Car-wash drivers.’ They buy licenses without going to driving schools. I think that is one way doing it.
Kate Tande, Teacher, Buea

*(UB/ASMAC Journalism Students on Internship)

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