The Government of Liberia through the Liberian National Police has launched a massive road safety campaign aimed at reducing the number of accident cases across the country.
Since the restoration of peace to Liberia in 2003, the issue of road safety has always and continue to be a major problem across Liberia especially with the introduction of motorcycle and tricycle into the transport sector of the country. The refusal of drivers and commuters as well as pedestrians to attach importance to road safety has led to major causes of death, injuries and damage of properties according to the Chief of Traffic at the Liberia National Police ACP. Alphonso D. Binda.
Speaking in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County over the weekend, ACP. Binda expressed serious concern in the increase of road accident cases across the country since twelve years ago.
According to him, increase in accident cases is a clear indication that there are many motor vehicle operators and citizens who are unaware of the alarming number of road fatalities as of 2007 to present.
Quoting data collected and analyzed as of 2007-2018, the LNP Traffic Chief indicated that a total of 14,505 road accident cases were reported, with Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties ranking among the 15 counties in Liberia.
"This data was collected by the Police across the country and analyzed. Our statistics revealed that over the 12 years period, 14,505 road accident cases were reported from the 15 counties across Liberia, thereby ranking three counties, namely: Montserrado County, Margibi County and Grand Bassa County which account for 598 (4.1%). Of this number 1,208 cases were reported yearly nationwide onaverage. The LNP also gathered that on average, 9,181 people were reported injured; Grand Bassa account for 825 and out of those number, 1,747 people lost their lives, in which Grand Bassa again account for 147; thus ranking the third accidents prone county in Liberia. It will also surprise you to note that about 100 accident cases are reported daily across Liberia and about one person died from motor accident daily. Out date also shows that are numerous of train fatalities along the railroad from Yekepa, Nimba County to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County," ACP Binda indicated as citizens who graced the occasion, look in a rather surprising manner.
Meanwhile, the LNP Chief of Traffic say immediate actions is needed to ensure a rigorous public safety awareness is created across the country, aimed at saving lives and the protection of properties.
He say, the LNP will adopt the strategy adopted to defeat the Ebola Virus Disease, by engaging all citizens and foreign residents in schools, public places such as parking stations, commercial centers across the country as well as actively involving the media into the awareness process among others.
Emphasizing further, the Traffic Chief frowned on commuters bent on encouraging drivers to drive recklessly without observing traffic signs.
"Accident don't have respect for dignity. Some of you sit in the vehicle and you see the driver calling on his cell phone, typing message on the phone... you don not say a word... this is very bad, you are risking your life, let everyone of us work together and ensure we are accident free, to ensure the drivers know and respect all road safety signs," he concluded.
Also speaking was Madam Yana Tumakova, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)) Advisor for Capacity Development within the Transport sector, pledge her institution fullest commitment to working with the Government of Liberia achieve its transport police.
"Road safety is one of them. It means we are working to support the Liberian Government including our partners,-Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Public Works, The Liberia National Police and other institutions such as Civil Society organizations in making roads, vehicles in Liberia safer," she said.
Highlighting awareness as a major mechanism through which accident cases can reduce, Madam Tumakova urged all to ensure the awareness is created to avoid road accidents.
Aside from creating awareness, the GIZ official emphasized the need to ensure issue surrounding the movement of defective vehicles is addressed.
She caution citizens to report all cases of accident on time, urging road users to ensure they wear seat belts, helmets among others so as to avoid casualty in times of accident.
During the program, several speeches were made my representatives from the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL), National Port Authority, Global Bank among others, all of whom urged pedestrians to attached importance to road safety issues.
They urged citizens to take road safety as their own so as to avoid casualty as result of road accident.