The campaign was launched by government to curb high rate of deaths and to encourage at least 80% of road actors to comply by December 2020.
The hazard caused by clandestine transport on major highways in Cameroon is telling. The vehicles often involved in this mode of transport are void of any car document and are without license plates, their drivers hardly master the basic road traffic signs and are rarely holders of driver’s license or other transport documents or required authorization from competent authorities. These vehicles which are often referred to as “opep or clandos” have developed their activities completely on the fringes of social and tax legislation. Thus, imposing an unfair competition on regular professionals of the sector. They are said to be the cause of majority of deaths on the highways due to their growing increase. According to the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, 22, 314 material and physical accidents have occurred on the roads over the past eight years, for a total of 8669 deaths, many of which are caused by these vehicles used in clandestine transport.
It is against this backdrop that the Minister of Communication, flanked by the Ministers of Transport, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe and that of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji held a press conference on December 5th, 2019 in Yaounde to launch a campaign against clandestine transportation. The campaign is aimed at informing, educating and raising awareness of the public on societal dangers of illegal road transport. During the conference, it was spelt out that the transport sector is regulated by law and the conditions of access to the profession of motor carriers, transport driver as well as the offenses and penalties to which offenders are exposed falls within a legal framework.
Amongst other objectives, it is hoped that the campaign will mobilize the various stakeholders and encourage at least 80 percent of them to comply with the regulations that govern the road transport sector in Cameroon by December 2020, significantly reduced the number of accidents resulting from clandestine transport and support public authorities in preserving public order by cleaning the road transport sector.
Present at the press conference were technical ministries and stakeholders of the road sectors especially trade union leaders who were called upon to fully involve their respective organization in the successful, permanent and continuous sensitization of all their members.
The government will facilitate this process by drafting a decree instituting the wearing of identification badges by all drivers of taxis bikes and other vehicles used for commercial purposes, defining the conditions for the operation of three-wheelers for commercial purposes, establishing platforms between the Ministry of Transport and trade union organizations of road haulers and auxiliaries and a permanent control actions by joint specialized teams on the roads.