The Secretary of State in charge of the National Gendarmerie recently undertook a lightning tour of the Centre, West and Littoral Regions.
Irked by the recent surge in the number of fatal night-time accidents in the country, the Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam, from May 7-8, 2016, undertook a lightning night tour of the Centre, West and Littoral Regions.
This was in a bid to check the recklessness of motorists. He was accompanied by Major General Laurent Claude Angouand, Director of Central Administration and Logistics at Gendarmerie Headquarters, and about seven colonels.
Speaking to the media on different laps of the trip, the Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie said road accidents tend to have the same causes most of the time. These are over-speeding, poor parking, the fatigued or drunken state of motorists, overloading, and the poor technical state of vehicles.
“It appears that as efforts are stepped up to oblige motorists to respect traffic regulations, the less they seem to pay attention. The only option is to intensify our campaign by punishing erring motorists through fines and other measures,” Jean Baptiste Bokam noted.
“This is not the time to give up. Instead, we need to change the trend by continuing with road safety awareness campaigns to help motorists become more responsible on highways. Consequently, we have changed our strategy by no longer confining gendarmes to particular spots. Instead, they now patrol highways in order to catch erring motorists in the act,” he revealed.
At Balamba in the Mbam and Inoubou Division of the Centre Region, the Secretary of State ordered the impoundment of a truck parked at a bend. Further checks of the lorry revealed that the driver had packets of Tramol drug. He claimed to be returning from Kousseri in the Far North Region where he went to supply pear.
Two other vehicles were impounded in Balamba and officers of the local Gendarmerie Post directed to prepare and forward the report to the State Counsel in Bafia; ensuring that they copied Gendarmerie Headquarters. The traffic offences here included overloading, smashed windscreens, lack of driving licence and night parking lighting boards, dangerous overtaking, and failure to put on safety belts.
There were similar impromptu vehicle checks by Jean Baptiste Bokam and team in Makenene in Mbam and Inoubou Division, Bantoum in Nde Division of the West Region, and Melong in Moungo Division of Littoral Region.
In cases of overloading, the gendarmerie boss ordered concerned drivers to refund the fares of the passengers to continue their trips in other vehicles.