ROAD SAFETY: Pedestrian Crossings

By Freddie Mpanga-Sempa BA (Hons), MSc. CMILT, ADi. CEO Tramarrs Consultancy Ltd

On the afternoon of 1st October 2018 soldiers of the defence force of Sierra Leone were mourning the loss of their colleague. While transporting the deceased along the Spur road in Lumley at the far west of Freetown, the driver of the military truck carrying the dead and mourners lost control of the vehicle when it lost its brakes. According to eyewitnesses on the scene, the military truck careered off the road ploughing into dozens of pedestrians on the crowded footpath and somersaulted.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) data published in 2017, Sierra Leone recorded 1,842 deaths this translated in adjustable death rate of 35.37 per 100,000 of population. Compared to an average of 18.5 per 100,000 of population in the category of low income countries, a disturbing-ly high figure. Statistics by Sierra Leone Police Traffic Management and Road Safety records an average of 16.25 premature death per month in 2015 as a result of road carnage. Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are vulnerable road users; Pedestrians, Cyclists motorised two wheeler or three cyclists. These group of users do not have a protective “shell” around them and are therefore at more risk than those in vehicles.