By Bida Elly David
National Legislators have raised concerns on increased number of road accidents caused by heavy trucks, especially those carrying construction materials in Juba.
Nathalina Umjuma Malek, under the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), said that trucks increase road accidents in the city.
She alleged that most accidents have been caused by Lorries driven by people with undetermined driving qualifications.
Nathalina said she witnessed an accident at St. Kizito, where a Sino truck knocked a motorist while carrying a child back from school.
The MP blamed the truck driver for over speeding.
“I raised this because in other countries like Kenya and Uganda, among others, where we used to go, such vehicles are not allowed to go and operate during the day,” she argued.
The lawmaker suggested that the government swiftly implement night-time operation of large trucks in Juba to reduce accidents.
She stated that pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists all struggle to access these roads for mobility, which is very dangerous.
“We should also imitate other countries over control of these big trucks at least to operate at night; those cars may work from 8 or 10 p.m. so that they work while children are not on the road,” she noted.
For his part, Nathaniel Oyet, the first deputy speaker of the Assembly, disagreed with the lawmaker saying that country-to-country policies of traffic control differ.
He maintained that South Sudan will not stop those trucks and Lorries from accessing roads during the day, noting that the only way to mitigate accidents is by educating the road users.
“We will not advise that all the trucks should only operate at night; we don’t know the circumstances under which trucks in other cities operate at night,” he puzzled.
“For us, we have a unique context, a unique circumstance where people can operate any time, whether day or night, without any restriction, but they are under an obligation not to cause accidents,” Oyet noted.
In April 2021, former Mayor Kalisto Lado, issued an order restricting the movement of big trucks within the city.
Mr. Lado made the order following a fatal accident that claimed two lives
He said the trucks would not be allowed to enter Juba during the day to reduce traffic congestion and lessen the risks of road accidents.