Commuters in GBA & WRC Bemoan Poor Enforcement of Traffic Regulations

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Passengers and daily commuters in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) and some parts of the West Coast Region (WCR) have called on the Gambia Police Force to upscale efforts and consistently enforce the traffic regulations to protect them against undue advantage by commercial drivers.

Passengers and commuters made this clarion call when this medium went out and about to gauge their daily traffic experience following the Gambia Government’s commissioning of 70 new buses in April to ease public transport.

Talking to our reporter, Amadou Leigh – a resident of Daru Busumbala – said the Police mobile traffic unit should execute their functions on the road effectively and efficiently. He further challenged the traffic stewards to include the plight of the passengers on routine commercial vehicle checks in their operations, not focusing only on the vehicles and the drivers for valid licenses and insurance.

“Drivers take advantage of us (passengers) daily. They would overload their vehicles and overcharge passengers with impunity. The police should do their job properly by incorporating our sufferings in their daily duties to ensure we have the value of our money with comfort,” Mr. Leigh lamented.

Another passenger of Nigerian nationality (name withheld) who runs a small-scale business at the Giboroh border has expressed displeasure at the terrible traffic situations passengers endure on a quotidian basis.

He also commended Gambians for their patience and fortitude in the face of such traffic nightmares while imploring the authorities to regulate commercial vehicles as the traffic laws dictated.

He added: “You cannot pay your fares and be parked like goats in a car just because someone isn’t doing their work as expected. Such practice of overloading vehicles would not fare in my country, Nigeria.”

Similarly, a passenger from Sohm village, Kombo East District, who spoke anonymously, said it is difficult and rather annoying to pay your fare and become uncomfortable in the vehicle due to overloading, and nothing comes from it.

“I think the police should come to our aid now by rigorously checking on commercial vehicles for overloading and overcharging of fares. This is very unjust and unfair to passengers. There should be sustainable solutions to these problems, and anyone found guilty should be prosecuted and pay heavy fines as per the laws,” he underscored.

Despite President Barrow’s official inauguration of 70 brand new buses in April of this year to boost the public transportation system, TAT has found that the plight and daily struggles of passengers and commuters in GBA and some parts of WCR are far from over, and more interventions are required to mitigate the sufferings of the traveling public in The Gambia.

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