Road Accidents : Special Campaign Against Heavy Duty Vehicles
The operation, instructed by the Head of State will run for six months nationwide.
Road safety measures are permanent activities of the Ministry of Transport as per its organisational chart and National Road Safety Strategy which defines the role of all the actors in the road safety campaign. Information indicates that there are day-to-day operational mechanisms that the Ministry of Transport and its partners carry out to curb road accidents in Cameroon. But the current nationwide campaign which runs from September 10, 2021 to February 28, 2022 is a special operation instructed by the Head of State. According to the Director of Land Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Divine Mbamome Nkendong, the campaign is within a particular context to create awareness on the risk factors leading to rampant accidents along the highways during particular periods in the year caused by heavy duty vehicles and interurban mass transport buses.
The Director of Land Transport says in spite of the fact that there are constant national road safety campaigns to curb road accidents in the country, greatly caused by excessive speed and the consumption of drugs, the situation seems not to get better. Hence, the raison d’être of the current campaign which is paying particular attention to those risk factors, harmonise efforts and create more awareness on risk factors which could lead to more accidents if not addressed. Thus, besides the traditional road safety campaign that usually takes place during the holidays and back-to-school period from June to September and the second phase which runs from November 15 to January each year, meant for end-of-year festivities, exceptionally, the second phase had to be launched immediately after the first phase this year. Divine Mbamome Nkendong says; “We realised that most of the accidents that occurred concerned heavy duty trucks and interurban transport buses. Some of the heavy duty vehicles transporting timber, sand, and other merchandise are driven by those who do not even have a driver’s licence or authorisation to operate in the sector. The imprudence of interurban mass bus transporters cannot be overemphasised”.
More particular about this campaign is that the Minister of Transport has sent special speed control radars to all the ten regions of the country. Due to the consumption of drugs, electronic breathalysers and drug testing kits have also been sent to all the ten regions. This will enable control teams to check the amount of alcohol in the system of every driver as well as any other substance that is not compatible in the system of any driver. Mobile gadgets to control all transportation documents and road worthiness of any vehicle are being used in all the ten regions of the country. Public utility numbers and a communication system have been put in place connecting the ministry and the ten regions as well as the population who can call and complain about a driver or an uncivil act on the highway. Divine Mbamome says controls of heavy duty trucks are taking place at all their loading points. Also, an artificial intelligence system in the management and movement of persons, to better secure and control all risk factors associated to road accidents will be installed in various interurban mass transport buses. With a biometric camera system on drivers, the road and vehicles will be permanently under surveillance.