The Liberia National Police Chief of Traffic, John Saah, has said that the incidences of motor accidents and their accompanying casualties have drastically reduced in Liberia since the LNP’s ban on commercial motorcyclists plying the main streets of Monrovia.
The traffic boss said it was a known fact that the recklessness of motorcyclists was one of the major contributing factors to accidents and the loss of lives and property in the country. Aside from their affect on the reduction of fatal accidents, he praised the measures put in place by the LNP for helping to reduce crime in the city.
Delivering the key note address at the certification program of 200 motorcyclists who were part of the Liberia National Red Cross Society and German Non-government organization GIZ, Chief Saah, said that cyclists have been trained in the country, but they usually refused to put what they have learned to practice.
He challenged the 200 cyclists, who were duly certificated and presented with safety gear, to be an exception and spare the lives of innocent people by following safety tips provided to them during the course of the training.
Though he did not give any statistical analysis as per the rate of reduction in accident cases, he indicated that the wards of the John F. Kennedy (JKF) hospital are clear examples of reality.
He noted there were more than 35,000 motorcyclists in Monrovia and its environs and predicted that more than 20 accident cases would occur daily. From these accidents, about five to ten people would die and ten percent would sustain injuries
“Your actions were taking away lives of innocent people, making families to grieve and making people’s—especially children’s— lives seem meaningless by crippling them. We hardly see these kinds of situations again. There were huge numbers of motorbike accident victims in JFK, but since we introduced the measures thing have change drastically.”
The LNP traffic boss, providing some global statistics on traffic accidents, said that over 1.7 million people died in road accident globally. Seventy percent of these accidents occurred in developing countries, which he said Liberia is part of. Fifty-five percent involve pedestrians, 75 percent of these pedestrians are children.
He said that it has been estimated that at least six million people will die and another 60 million will be injured during the next ten years unless urgent measures like the one recently taken by the LNP help to prevent this from occurring.
Also speaking at the occasion was LNRCS Acting Secretary General, Fayiah Tamba, who cautioned the motorcyclists to properly follow what they have learned. He rhetorically asked the cyclists, “after the training what next? He then told them that whatever is next for them lies right in their own hands.
“If you don’t follow the basic rules of the training in regards to road safety when you return to the traffic, then all of our efforts are in vain. If you go and behave the same way you behaved before you came to training, than our efforts are still in vain. I ask that you do your best and let the lives of our people be safe,” Mr. Tamba pleaded.
The 200 motorcyclists were certificated and provided safety gear such as helmets, grip gloves and reflective jacks. The motorcyclists, in separate remarks, promised to utilize the knowledge given them and make proper use of the equipment.