17 April 2017

Liberia: Gov Asked to Restrict Container-Truck Operations in Monrovia

The faulty truck involved in April 8 death of three and injury of 11 persons in Monrovia, with the tricycle, whose occupants died, still stuck to it

The Liberia National Police (LNP), the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the National Port Authority (NPA) have been asked to restrict the operations of container trucks in Monrovia to times when there is less human and vehicular traffic.

That was the message that shocked residents and others recommended to the Liberian government through the Daily Observer following a conclusion of interviews related to their experiences on the harrowing April 8 'container-truck' accident on Johnson Street.

The accident resulted in the death of three persons and injuries to 11 others, according to the Liberia National Police.

Residents interviewed near the accident scene said the Liberia National Police must make the safety of Liberians a priority; and therefore the Police Traffic Unit of the LNP must ensure that trucks that haul containers from the Freeport of Monrovia to business centers across the country are roadworthy.

"I am not sure but I think there is a directive that container trucks should ply the streets only in the night and not in the day," a resident told the Daily Observer.

Although an LNP source could not confirm the above statement, a police official said it would make sense if such a rule could be applied to 'container-trucks.'

Another resident said many 'container-truck' accidents have happened near and around the Johnson Street area, causing many human casualties and material losses, although the government agencies responsible to ensure safety have remained mute about these losses.

"I know the role of the Ministry of Transport is not simply to register vehicles and give them license plates," said a woman who contributed to the interview, "but it would seem that with many bad vehicles plying the streets, no one is paying attention to safety issues."

At the Ministry of Transport on Warren Street, the Daily Observer could not get any information about the process of qualifying vehicles as roadworthy, and what the ministry is doing about the accident.

However, a staffer at the Ministry who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak for the MOT, said the ministry is concerned about the safety of Liberians and all those residing in the country.

He, however, could not explain why huge trucks used to convey containers to business centers across the country are not roadworthy.

Sources at the LNP's Traffic Division could also not explain why there are many vehicles that are not roadworthy plying the streets of Liberia despite the threat they pose to the lives of other road users, and even though many have reportedly killed innocent people.

"I know policies are made because of issues and the killing of innocent people by faulty vehicles, like container trucks, should be of concern to us," a police source said.

Other Liberians interviewed about the accident said the lack of concern by government agencies to dangerous yet preventable events that affect the people, does not speak well of the country's leaders.

"Has the LNP put any speed bumps to prevent unnecessary over-speeding and death at the road where the young musician Quincy B met his fate?" a young man asked.

"We should be proactive in our responses when death and the destruction of lives and properties are destroying our people."

Many others said if the government does not quickly respond to the call to ensure that bad and faulty trucks are removed from the streets, many more innocent Liberians will die.

"We have died unnecessarily in the past and this must stop," said a student of the United Methodist University (UMU).

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