Sekou Kamara, a driver of one of the yellow American school buses popular known as ‘Killer Bean,’ says angry residents burning buses whenever there is a tragic accident is not the solution to the problem.
In an interview with the Daily Observer yesterday following the resumption of operation of the buses which were grounded after angry commercial motorcyclists razed one on Battery Factory Road on Monday, Kamara said such an action does not ease the pain of the tragedy.
Kamara said bus owners and stakeholders held meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, and the owners agreed to put their buses back on the road.
He said the buses have third party insurance coverage and so whenever there is an accident, common sense should lead everyone involved to dialogue in order to resolve the problem.
“In the incident on Monday, the motorbike rider ran his bike in front of the bus and because it is a large vehicle, the bus driver could not avoid what happened,” he said.
Kamara rejected claims that because ‘Killer Bean’ buses are huge, their drivers don’t provide space for other road users.
“Sometimes other vehicles and motorbikes try to overtake when the bus driver is not aware of their action,” he said. “So other road users should make sure that whenever they are behind any such large vehicles they should allow some space between them.”
Kamara said overtaking any huge vehicle when that driver is unaware is extremely dangerous, “and they must work hard to avoid that.”
He said he regrets the death of Victor Morris, who was crushed to death after reportedly crossing in front of the bus on Monday evening.
Kamara said all yellow buses were back on the streets early yesterday morning plying their normal routes, including trips to Red Light, Gardnersville, New Georgia, Topoe Village – all on Somalia Drive, and destinations on Bushrod Island.
The temporary withdrawal of the buses from the streets caused enough transportation difficulties for commuters, who appealed to commercial motorcycle riders to avoid mob action and allow the Liberia National Police to handle such cases.
“The Liberia National Police must be vigorous against mob action,” a commuter told the Daily Observer in an interview on Johnson Street in Monrovia.
The yellow American school buses got the name ‘Killer Bean’ from Killer Bean Forever a 2009 computer-animated action film that tells the story of an anthropomorphic coffee bean assassin named Jack Bean, known as Killer Bean, who was a no-nonsense killer who made light use of his enemies. Like the movie, the yellow American school bus “is like a Roadmaster that exerts its position on the road so that vehicles, motorbikes and other road users always stay clear when it is coming,” said a young woman who spoke to the Daily Observer last night. “When the yellow bus, with its huge side, is moving down the road, all vehicles give way,” she said.