A three-day campaign to ensure safety on roads before, during and after the Women’s AFCON took place in four regions last weekend.
The Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam, was at the head of a special three-day National Gendarmerie Road Safety Campaign on some major highways in the country from October 7-10, 2016.
The three-day campaign was in line with preparations ahead of the Women’s African Cup of Nations next month, to ensure security on the roads before, during and after the competition. The campaign caravan was on the Yaounde-Douala, Douala-Limbe, Limbe-Nkongsamba, Nkongsamba-Bafoussam and Bafoussam-Yaounde highways. The objective was to sensitise road users on the need to respect safety rules and regulations, with special attention on heavy-duty vehicles.
On the Yaounde-Edea and Edea-Douala highways, most of the offences recorded had to do with overloading, use of worn-out tyres, non-wearing of seat belts, wrongful overtaking and failure to insure vehicles, among others. There was the case of driver with an expired National Identity Card receipt, while another was suspected to be carrying a fraudulent document. On the Douala-Tiko Highway, gendarmes noticed that there were vehicles using unauthorised additional fog lights, but they were immediately removed by the officers. Some drivers, who did not have windscreen licences, complained of delays by the authorities. The Secretary of State promised to see what he could do to hasten up the process.
Some suspects were arrested and vehicles impounded, with gendarmes warning that they will step up action in the coming days. Concerning the upcoming Women’s African Cup of Nations tournament, Jean Baptiste Bokam said the campaign will be intensified, with more gendarmes deployed on highways with adequate material to ensure smooth movements. On the Nkongsamba highway that has been the centre of several ghastly accidents of late, many motorists were fined for contravening the Highway Code.
Jean Baptiste Bokam and his team sensitised motorists on the fact that road is in bad state, thus the need to drive slowly to avoid accidents. He warned that the campaign will become tougher in order to ensure safety on the roads and also to help change the conduct of road users. The Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie called on road users to be more careful while driving, avoid over-speeding, wrongful overtaking, drinking alcohol before driving and other ills that cause numerous accidents.