• November 3, 2023

Attitude of Commercial Drivers

Attitude of Commercial Drivers
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By Alusine Fullah

IS THERE ANY LAW GOVERING THESE COMMERCIAL DRIVERS/ CONDUCTORS? IS THERE ANY LEGAL BODY/ INSTITUTION THAT REGULATES THE OPERATIONS/ MOVEMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL DRIVERS/ CONDUCTORS? If they are in existence, I think they are dysfunctional.

The negative attitude of commercial of commercial drivers and their conductors is no longer newsworthy, but for us the activists and layman it always bites deep. But, why should this be the case? Having written plethora of articles about the negative attitude of drivers and conductors, the need for proper enforcement, and effective communication by the Sierra Leone Drivers Union/ MDAs to educate them about the effects involve negative attitude.

For instance, during the rush hours, the “half-way” is alive and kicking; overloading is also apparent; poor dress code is the order of the day; substance abuse like “kush” is the main occupation for them. What is the government through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation /Sierra Leone Drivers Union doing to remedy these menaces?

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF TRAFFIC POLICE OFFICERS IN ADDRESSING THESE CHALLENGES?

Indeed, it is evident that, drivers plying from Waterloo to Bombay Street ask for 20 to 25 Leones from passengers. Oh my goodness!!! THIS IS SAD!! Honestly, there is unending appalling attitude of commercial drivers and conductors. For instance, the legitimate designated final stop for all “poda-poda” drivers coming from Waterloo to Bombay Street and for those coming from Bombay Street, it is Waterloo. Why is that conductors are always in shabby dress? Is it legally right for conductors to dress in a shabby way? Oh excuse for the language, sometimes some of them who are shabbily dressed stink. Why is it that commercial drivers and conductors are always using invectives words on passengers? Is it right for them to do so? Mr. president for the Drivers Union, what are you doing to remedy these appalling issues? If you are sleeping, I think it is high time you woke up from your slumber and act. Yes, the time is now!!!

Moreover, the commercial drivers and the conductors seem to have astray with profound defiant attitude that have bitten deep on commuters/passengers as days go. Unlike what it was in the past, it is almost impossible to board a commercial vehicle from far west/east in Lumley/ Calaba Town to the central business of Freetown. Instead, these drivers have chosen to siphon gullible and deprived passengers who are FORCED to pay four times the required fare before reaching their various destinations in the center of Freetown. It is rather unfortunate that these unscrupulous drivers could not realize that this wicked act is being perpetuated on average Sierra Leoneans who are not fortunate to own private vehicles.

Sadly, this show of indiscipline is reportedly being done in connivance with the law enforcers that are allegedly accepting backhanding/bribes from these defiant drivers for them to turn a blind eye to their ill motivated mannerism. No!! This must stop!!!

Also, sadly, in recent times, workers and school going children are perpetually left stranded to access transportation on a daily basis and no one seems to care about this menace. For us to make them law abiding it is as easy as drinking soup. For instance, arrest, impound, levy fines and upon receipt of payment their vehicles handed back to them. Simple as that!! Sierra Leoneans let us join in full force and wage a war against the appalling attitude of the drivers and the conductors. The time is now!!!

If my memory can still serve me well, I could still recall when the NEW DIRECTION government was sworn into office and how policemen and traffic officers would force drivers/conductors along Patton Street to carry passengers directly to Waterloo. Indeed, their efforts were applauded as it was yielding dividend. I therefore call on the law enforcement agencies to wake up and regulate drivers and conductors plying those routes.

Biko!!!

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