5 March 2018

Liberia: Police Adjust Motorcyclists' Restrictions

Photo: The New Dawn
(File photo).

The administration at the Liberia National Police (LNP) has made some adjustments to years of restrictions imposed on commercial motorcyclists here, specifically allowing them to drive through some routes previously observed as no-go zones except the 10pm ban.

Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue told a jubilant crowd of commercial motorcyclists outside the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville Saturday, 3 March that they can now drive from Redlight to ELWA Junction and from Redlight to Freeport on the Somalia Drive.

"... The police administration has decided under the Pro -Poor Agenda to allow motorcyclists to run from Redlight to ELWA Junction," Mr. Sudue says to a rousing crowd of motorbike riders at an interactive meeting.

He adds that under the "Pro - Poor Agenda," police will allow motorcyclists to ride from Redlight to Freeport, further assuring them that police will observe all the areas and if motorcyclists behave [well], those other areas that are under observation will be considered.

But despite the lifting of restrictions in some areas previously described as no go zone for commercial bike rider, the police chief insisted that the 10pm ban placed against motorcyclists remains in force, and warns that the no-go zone restrictions would even return to status quo if motorcyclists revert to exhibiting lawlessness, carrying out accident - related attacks against vehicles owners, defying police orders, careless driving, and conveying criminals, among others.

"...You are given this opportunity, but if you misuse it, you abuse it, you will go back to status quo. So what do I mean? If we allow you to run from Redlight to ELWA Junction and people start to jerk people's things and you find out that accident is huge, then we will have to go back to the old place that we used to be," he adds.

He says the adjustments made to restrictions on motorcyclists' no-go zones come with responsibilities, warning them to take one passenger on a bike.

Mr. Sudue also announced that the police will provide some training for a special task force that is already working with the motorcycle federation in enforcing motorcycle regulations to enable them to conduct themselves in a manner in which citizens will applaud their action.

"We don't want in the new dispensation to have the police engaging the motorcyclists as it was done before. This administration, we are interested in mitigation, we are interested in peace building, we are working together, we are interested in forming partnership with you all," he says further.

He urges motorcyclists and their task force members to respect police officers to avoid having problems with each other. He addressed concerns and questions posed by motorcyclists during the meeting.

Mr. Sudue and his deputies including Deputy Inspector General for Operations Col. Robert Budy graced the meeting with the motorcyclists.

Earlier, Commercial Motorcyclists Union of Liberia president Mr. John A.F. Kenyor had pleaded with the police authorities to allow motorcyclists to run from Redlight to ELWA Junction, Redlight to Freeport, among others.

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