Sierra Leone, officially known as the Republic of Sierra Leone, and colloquially as Salone, is a country on West Africa’s southwest coast. It is bounded to the southeast by Liberia, and the northern half of the country is surrounded by Guinea. But did you know that they have a peculiar way of applying for a driver’s license?
Before getting your driver’s license in Sierra Leone, you must first purchase and play “The Drivers’ Way,” a board game. The game entails rolling stoplight-themed dice, moving classic car models around aboard, and answering questions about the country’s traffic laws.
The Board Game Requirement
In the good old days, all you had to do to get a driver’s license was demonstrate your ability to drive. However, in Sierra Leone, you must also play a board game before taking the licensing exam.
Learner drivers in Sierra Leone must now purchase and play a board game before being eligible for a driver’s license. The game is called The Driver’s Way, and it costs around $14. According to the authorities, playing the game teaches you about road safety.
Morie Lengor, Sierra Leone’s assistant inspector general of police and creator of the board game, said that he was optimistic that it would reduce the number of accidents in his country.
As a police officer I’ve seen so many bizarre, gruesome accidents and we are told from statistics, that it’s a result of people not understanding the highway code, road signs, not respecting them and causing so many accidents.Morie Lengor, Assistant Inspector General of Police
In The Driver’s Way, would-be drivers move tiny cars around the board after rolling a dice covered in traffic light colors instead of dots. Players must respond to questions about traffic laws and road signs. Along the way, the cars must also pass through vehicle checkpoints, resulting in fines if a part of the car is found to be broken. (Source: DW Akademie)
How is the Board Game Necessary?
Lengor says he wanted to find a way to get young people interested in road safety.
I said if I could put the idea into a kind of game, which could attract them to play then it could help a lot of young people before they get to the age of 18,Morie Lengor, Assistant Inspector General of Police
In Sierra Leone, the minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license is 18. The Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) now sees The Driver’s Way as bolstering its efforts to reduce road accidents and improve motorist safety.
According to the SLRTA, the game is now required due to increased road accidents in recent years. The SLRTA’s public relations officer is Abdul Karim Dumbuya. He stated that road safety campaigns are now more critical than ever due to Sierra Leone’s rising death toll.
In 2011, the road authority recorded over 650 road accident fatalities. In 2012, the figure surpassed 700, and 2013 does not appear to be any better. (Source: DW Akademie)