As the end-of-year festivities approach, some transport officials in Cameroon are emphasising the need for increased caution on the roads.
In Cameroon, the festive season is notorious for a high number of fatalities resulting from accidents on major roads nationwide and within local communities. Many citizens travel from one place to another to celebrate the festive period with relatives in different towns.
“There are people who choose only December to go for the feast with their loved ones,” observed an individual speaking to Equinoxe TV.
Victor Nsia, the Wouri Divisional Delegate of Transport, believes it is possible to reduce the high rate of accidents during the festive season. He stated, “They (drivers) have to respect the code of the roads. Because if we respect the code of the road, we shall have few accidents.”
Nsia urged drivers to avoid unnecessary overtaking, emphasising the importance of responsible driving. “You know that if you have a poor view, you can’t overtake, but there are people who do not want to take this into consideration. And when they overtake, in front, they meet with an obstacle. They have the lives of people in their hands, and so they have to be responsible,” he added.
When asked to wear seat belts and follow basic traffic laws, road users in Cameroon resisted, according to a supervisor at a transport company. He called on the government to improve road conditions, as poor roads significantly contribute to the high number of accidents on national roads.
Since November, Cameroon has witnessed over 20 fatal accidents, resulting in numerous casualties. On November 29, a tragic collision on the Bafoussam-Foumbot road in the West Region claimed eight lives and left 11 others injured. The accident involved a heavy-duty truck and a Hiace bus belonging to the Avenir du Noun travel agency.
According to a press release from the West Regional Governor, Awa Fonka Augustine, preliminary investigations suggest that the collision was the result of “a bad overtaking.”