Road Safety: Original Vehicle Papers Still A Major Problem

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Many motorists were booked over the weekend on the Yaounde-Bafia highway for having only attestations or photocopies of their vehicle particulars.

Apart from the failure by many motorists to respect road signs, another major reason for the booking of drivers during road safety campaigns organised by the National Gendarmerie is lack of originals of vehicle particulars. In their place, motorists often present attestations of submission of applications or photocopies of original documents.

In response, the Ministry of Transport in 2015 ordered that motorists should not replace original vehicle particulars with photocopies or attestations of submission of applications. Thus, the absence of original papers is considered by highway traffic officers as not having them at all. In this light, gendarmes who were on road safety campaign on Saturday June 11, 2016, on the Yaounde-Bafia highway, immediately booked such defaulting motorists.

According to Captain Nkenglefac Charles Forsah, head of the gendarmerie road safety team at Akak, 15 km from Yaounde, motorists are becoming increasingly aware of the need to respect the directives of the Ministry of Transport by paying attention to road signs and other road users. “However, over-speeding is still a major problem; being the main cause of most road accidents. This is why Jean Baptiste Bokam, the Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, has ordered that over-speeding offences should not be pardoned,” Captain Forsah explained.

He added that all those booked for over-speeding were made to pay 25,000 FCFA as fine on the spot without mercy. If they could not, their statements were taken and the matter forwarded to the local State Counsel for action, he noted. In response to the claims by many erring motorists that there were so many bottlenecks in issuing vehicle documents they applied for, a transport official who did not want to be named refuted the allegation. Instead, he said there were delays in issuing papers only for those who did not leave their phone numbers with transport officers. He added that there were piles of uncollected vehicle registration (“carte grise”) documents and driving licences in transport offices in Yaounde dating back to 2013.

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