By Ayoche Boniface, Sept. 9, 2016
One thing the country seems reputable in doing is copying elements from other countries and misusing what has been copied to fill the pockets of well-placed individuals.
The whole business of speed cameras on the highways in Cameroon is laughable to say the least.
It would appear the reason for having cameras on our motorways is not to control reckless driving but rather aimed at lining the pockets of some unscrupulous gov’t officials.
In the UK for example there are clear and legible signs placed well ahead from where the cameras are placed. The idea is to get motorists slow down with the aim of preventing accidents and hence saving lives.
Is it not ludicrous that in Cameroon, handheld speed cameras are held by individuals who take cover in the bushes? This is why I question the marking and positioning of speed signboards in the country. What are the considerations made before placing such limits on our highways?
There are instances when defaulters who have fallen prey to such cameras have
negotiated with uniform officers to have a discount without any receipt. Such payments are then pocketed by the uniform individuals. Why would I even blame them when money cyphooned from tollgate collection fails to be put to the required use? You look at roads in the country and wonder for what reason 500 FRS is collected at toll-gates.
This may be one, but not the only contributory factor to the high prevalence of road accidents in Cameroon. At the core of majority of accidents is human error. We need to start valuing lives in the country. The wanton loss of lives in accidents like the recent Binam accident along the Yaoundé- Bafoussam highway is wholly preventable and unacceptable.
Look at this beautiful young baby girl of less than 5 years lying lifeless as a result of one of such ghastly and fatal accident. My heart bleeds.
Ayoche Boniface is former HOD Marketing Department, Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda. He holds an MBA in Management and an avid interest in Developmental issues in Cameroon. He lives in Crawley, UK.