By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A Traffic policeman is nursing serious head injuries at the Hargeisa Group Hospital.
While medics at the HGH are yet to comment publicly eye witnesses indicate that the policeman sustained the head injuries after he was hit by a car while manning traffic at the Hargeisa Central Business District-CBD.
The very unfortunate incident leading to a big gush on the head of the officer ensued upon an attempt to apprehend an SUV car plate Number SL 57047 after its driver allegedly jumped a red traffic light.
Witnesses claim that the driver upon being ordered to stop not only refused but promised to car-hit the now perturbed officer who considering following events and in pursuit of ensuring road safety in the busiest road in Somaliland, refused to believe the threat of harm.
True to his words and upon relentless pursuit among the throng of vehicles, by the lone and as usual unarmed traffic officer, the driver reversed his car at high speed towards the lawman whom he hit.
The car and human bodies’ impact saw the traffic officer thrown towards a shop where he crushed head to wall thus the severe injury sustained.
Oblivious of the grievous harm done to the policeman, the driver without a glance at his victim drove off from the scene at high speed as members of the public organized and effected rushing of the injured to hospital.
Despite the unfortunate incident resulting in unruly behaviour and injury, confusion over traffic rules exists in the entire country but more so in Hargeisa following recent changes on driving directions undertaken jointly by the ministry of interior and city council.
While the driving direction changes has succeeded in its objective of easing traffic congestion/jams since hitherto one lane city routes have been turned two lanes, drivers and traffic officers are in constant loggerheads from unclear guidelines on which turn here and there is the correct one.
Hopefully this confusion shall end soon as both motorists and traffic officers attain a grasp of new parameters though lack of public awareness raising is also a major cause for alarm for most drivers from other regions are usually seen driving solo in a direction in which others are driving opposite.
Recently a relative from Erigavo found himself in this predicament that saw him and him only driving along the main City road towards the presidency while all the others were driving in the opposite direction, from presidency towards the CBD.
Failing to understand things and more fortunate before apprehension by traffic police he stopped at the Indadeero Mall opposite the Civil Service Institute and called,
Waaryahee inaadeer gawaadhidii miyay waasheen wadadii dhinac ayay u wada socdaan aniga meel aan maro ayaan waayay. Cousin have driver’s here gone crazy for they are all driving in one direction thus inability to drive to my destination.
This is clearly a result of ignored public awareness raising by the concerned authorities and coupled with newly installed traffic lights that see pedestrians crossing while the lights are green call for expedited action before things get out of hand.
While in other countries this are major issues here in Somaliland the lack of traffic rules knowledge by both drivers and the officers mandated with upholding them is of much concern.
It is therefore worthy of the administration instigating urgent measures towards training traffic officers, not in the regular police boot camp, but more professionally as relates to understanding of the traffic rules they are supposed to see upheld.
Similar the department responsible for issuance of drivers’ license needs thorough investigation and subsequent overhaul since applicants are never tested nor their skills verified but availed the very important document upon greasing some palms.
To call a spade a spade empirical Somalilandsun knowledge indicates that very few traffic police officers and most drivers in Somaliland can interpret the meaning of even the very basic traffic signs.
Meanwhile we remain hopeful of speedy recovery for the injured traffic officer and the driver’s arrest and subsequent arraignment in court on related charges in addition to one related to inhuman and brutal conduct.
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