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Preventing Road Accidents: Should Be A Collaborative Effort of MOT, LNP and LRA

By Sedia Massaquoi Bangoura

Robertsfield Highway, Margibi County, Liberia

Happy New Year!! I wish for you in 2019 the best of health, true true happiness, and unconditional love!!???

I am very pleased to be back in my original home town Beajah. in Bomi County, Liberia after a long sojourn of more than two years in my second home town of Bonn, Germany.

The start of the new year is sad for me because of the shocking and untimely demise of my friend and small sister, Massa Dukuly who died in a tragic motor accident on the Monrovia-Robertsfield highway on the night of Tuesday, January 2nd 2019. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

Massa’s car accident, the recent car accident in Brewerville, near Lott Carey mission, of a young and promising lady Ms. Blamo, the tragic car accident of the late DeputyMinister of Commerce in the Sirleaf Administration, Honorable Allen, which incidentally occurred on the ELWA- Robertsfield Highway, the accidental death of a Lebanese Family travelling on the identical Highway, from the RIA airport, have all something in common - they were caused by a truck or trailer parked along the roadside, obviously as a result of a breakdown, but without any warning signs to indicate to on-coming motorist that there was a vehicle that had broken down ahead of them, cautioning them to slow down or to be careful. How sad for such accidents to repeatedly occur and seemingly no preventive measures are being taken.

Is it anybody’s responsibility to prevent such tragedies? Whose responsibility is it? The Driver of the vehicle that broke down? Surely, there are triangular warning signs that every roadworthy vehicle should have on board. The on-coming motorist? One should drive with care, especially on dark roads without street lights. The road authorities - mobile police, responsible for patrolling the highway? traffic police? responsible for ensuring free flow of traffic, and safety Ministry of Transport? Responsible for vehicle and driver’s registration and roadworthiness of vehicles, or the general public, responsible for their own safety and awareness.

It is interesting to note that when it comes to inspection of vehicles and collection of « Lawful Government Taxes », there is a very strong collaboration between the entities responsible. Just over the holiday season we were all witnesses to various checkpoints around Monrovia in Tweah Farm, in Congotown, on Somalia Drive, even on the new Kebbab, Dixville-Johnsonville road, where the three entities - Transport Ministry, Liberia National Police, and Liberia Revenue Authority - mounted joint checkpoints to inspect vehicles, although they have since vanished now that the season is over.

Nonetheless, this type of collaboration is positive and this is the type of collaboration that I would like to encourage and advocate for with regards to road safety and security in Liberia in 2019. We wish for more collaboration among the LNP. The MOT, and the LRA in preventing road accidents as a result of failure to provide road signals, enforcement of traffic rules, and Public/Drivers’ information and awareness. If we can collaborate to collect lawful taxes then surely we can do the same to improve road safety, or can we?