Activa, LNP Collaborate to Promote Road Safety

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ACTIVA CEO, Gbalazeh making presentation to LNPCommissioner for Public Safety, Miekee Gray

-Insurance company donates office equipment to LNP Traffic Division

One of the leading Insurance Companies in Liberia  has joined the Liberia National Police (LNP) in a collaborative effort intended to boost road safety through traffic education and improving road users output. ACTIVA International Insurance Company (Lib) Limited, a Pan-African Insurer, has reached an agreement with the Traffic Section of the LNP to sponsor its activities across the country.

At a brief ceremony held at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP), ACTIVA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Atty. Gbalazeh, and LNP Commissioner for Public Safety, Miekee Gray sealed a deal intended to provide sponsorship of Traffic and Road Safety Education of the LNP Traffic Section.

Under the arrangement, the company has obligated itself to provide funding for all of the LNP road safety workshops and other education programs. Gbalazeh wants businesses and entrepreneurs to collaborate with the LNP as a way of giving back to the communities. The company also made a donation of electronic office equipment at the ceremony.

“Vehicular and other forms of traffic accidents have been increasing tremendously in the past years and we thought to find a way to collaborate with the traffic section of the LNP to see how we can help to address serious national crisis,” Atty. Gbalazeh said

Road traffic accidents (RTAs) continue to be an important public health issue which needs to be tackled from various fronts. But the rate of RTA injuries and deaths is becoming alarming and, according to the ACTIVA boss, the number of fatal and disabling road accidents taking place is increasing day by day and is a real public health challenge for all the concerned agencies to prevent it.

“We are willing to collaborate with the LNP traffic division, through sponsorship, to address some of these issues,” he said.

Gbalazeh noted that awareness creation, strict implementation of traffic rules, are needed to prevent this public health catastrophe.

According to the United Nations, injuries and deaths due to RTA are major public health problems in developing countries.  1.2 million People are killed on roads every year and up to 50 million more are injured.

Few years ago, the UN, through its General Assembly, launched RTA as a worldwide initiative aimed to establish action plans to reduce the alarming 1.3 million fatalities and the alarming injuries and disability related crashes worldwide. These casualties, the UN said, will increase if action is not taken.

The ACTIVA CEO making brief remarks at the ceremony

It is against this backdrop that Atty. Gbalazeh and his company are endeavoring to see an innovative coalition that would bring together the private sector (business houses and companies) and the government (LNP) that would come out with innovative measures to ensure road safety. “It will simply be these businesses’ way of giving back to the society and the various communities within which they operate,” he said.

“Public safety is a shared responsibility; therefore partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders are essential.”  The Community Oriented Policing (COPs) Office — a systemic use of partnerships and problem solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues — could be a good start.

Atty. Gbalazeh said ensuring road safety is in line with the government’s pro-poor agenda because it seeks the protection of the masses, many of whom are victims of the traffic fatalities.

“The highest burden of injuries and fatalities is borne disproportionately by poor people, as they are mostly pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers of buses and minibuses and these are the people this government seeks to protect.”

A high prevalence of old vehicles that often carry many more people than they are designed to carry, negligence of safety belts and helmets, poor road design and maintenance contribute to the high rate of crashes in less developed countries. Reducing risk through the avoidance of dangerous situations helps maintain driving safety on the road, he noted.

“There are solutions to the road safety problem,” he added. “A wide range of effective interventions exist, and experience in countries with long histories of motorized travel has shown that a scientific, ‘systems approach’ to road safety is essential to tackling the problem.”

LNP officers at the ceremony

This approach, he said, addresses the traffic system as a whole and looks at the interactions between vehicles, road users and the road infrastructure to identify solutions—with an integrated approach that addresses vehicles, the people who use roads, and the road infrastructure, roads can be made safer.

“This is why we want to work with the LNP. This is our own way of giving back to the communities within which we operate. We do not just come here to make project, but we should in return invest some of what we have made into the communities to make it a better place for all of us. This is what we stand for at ACTIVA.”

Mr. Gray lauded the ACTIVA family for the collaboration and called on others to join in helping the LNP in ensuring safety in the country. “We are faced with numerous challenges and we highly appreciate this intervention. We hope others would emulate your good example,” Mr. Gray noted.

Meanwhile, ACTIVA is the originator of the Globus Network, which is a grouping of 40 well-positioned and dynamic insurance companies in 40 African countries. The Globus Network is the largest of its kind in Africa.

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