Drivers plying the Brikama-Basse road had cried over domestic animals crossing vehicle roadway as animals distractions on roadways is increasing at an alarming rate. It has been noticed over the years, that drivers has been knocking down animals crossing roadways which leads to fatalities. This reporter also witnessed a bus that almost collided with a calf that was crossing the road following cows which had gone to the other side of the road. The driver missed it by few inches otherwise he could have been talking of something else. According to them, it is always a risk when driving while coming across with donkeys, cows, sheep and goats as this may lead to accidents form the drivers and the killings of domestic animals.
Drivers assembled that most of the time, they have to make a split-second diversion when they come across animals crossing the roadways, which they cried sometimes leads in the wrong directions and can cost a life. They said “a road is a road” and it is always hurts to hit animals leaving them behind dead and the accounting for vehicles and human injuries are always scaring.
Pa Kebba a driver said they are calling on the owners of the livestocks to keep their animals away from the road ways. He said that the Gambia Livestock Association should take a lead in making sure that animals are protected and kept in domestic places. He said that drivers are always in troubled when they hit animals, as owners will sometimes claim it in cash. This he said is a burning issue for drivers and calls on the authorities to intervene and help drivers to drive safely.
Pap Ceesay a Gelle-gelle driver said he was lucky that he managed to spot cattle crossing the road from a distance, otherwise he was going to run over them and probably kill or injure them. Donkeys he said are contributing to the high incidence of road accidents as they don’t move away from the road when a vehicle is approaching them. The solution he said is on the headman, chiefs and alkalos and his people not to leave their animals on the road, adding that the only solution to this problem is to encourage livestock owners to keep away their animals from roaming and crossing the roadways. He called on livestock owners to keep their livestock from straying the roads as the country continued to lose lives and properties through road accidents.
Muhammed Camara is a livestock owner living on the Bakadagy-Mankama Kunda road side. He said that they are not to be blamed for not keeping their animals away from the road. According to him, that settlement is known for animal rearing and drivers should be very cautious when driving around that area. He said for him drivers will be responsible when they hit his animals because that area is an animals settlements.
According to him, it is always difficult to keep animals under a permanent place depriving them their rights to movement and grazing. Animals he said sometimes needs to be idle to fen for them themselves. He called on drivers to be cautious when driving roadways around animal settlements.
Other animal owners expressed concerns to the manner in which their animals are lost as a result of careless driving by drivers. They said that they owned the animals and depend on them for survivals and other livelihood responsibilities.
The major causes of accidents they said are over speeding by drivers.
“If a driver is speeding during the night, he or she will not be able to react and stop when he sees animals crossing the road,” said Juna another livestock owner in Bansang. According to him, dangerous overtaking is another cause were an animal is on the road and the driver fails to notice it early.