Police say 99% of road users are illiterate
A tragic motorcycle accident in Ganta has left at least three persons dead, leaving one person under a very critical condition. This has not only left pedestrians and passengers using motorcycles in fear but has also sparked up calls on the government to design strategies that will curtail the accidents.
Police traffic office in Ganta told this paper that at about 10 p.m. local time, two motorcycles collided around the Catholic School junction on Saclepea road in Ganta, leaving three of the four persons on the two bikes instantly dead.
The bikes according to the police come from opposite directions and they collided.
“We don’t know who is wrong or right, because two of the occupants, now victims, that we could speak to are still in critical condition,” said Sgt Wilson Nyanama of the traffic office in Ganta.
“The two bikes (all Bajaj) do not have license plates and we are yet to get the fact from any eyewitness,” he said.
Those killed in the accident according to the police include Winston Sondah, Rancy Gbor, and a resident of Boe Community in Ganta yet to be identified, while the two injured are Alfred Duodah and Alex Mahpea.
The increase in accident cases along the Ganta – Monrovia highway and other highways in Nimba are creating concern among the citizens, with the citizens shifting blame on law enforcement officer (police), the driver and in some instances the passengers.
Some callers on the local radio blamed the police of looking at traffic for allegedly not taking against traffic violations, and then the drivers and bike riders for overloading and reckless driving. The passengers are also blamed for seeing danger and riding complacently without flagging the issue.
However, the Chief Traffic Officer of Nimba Inspector Jerome Wesee has said that 99% of the road users do not know how to read and write, and for this they cannot read traffic signs thereby causing them not to know where to accelerate or where to overtake another car.
He said with the increase in the number of accidents in the county, the Police, especially the traffic division, is anticipating organizing a training for all road users, including car drivers, motorcyclists and even car owners on basic traffic signs or rules.
Last year, six residents of Nimba died instantly in an accident after their taxi was overtaking another taxi on a hill at the speed of 110mph.
The taxi collided with a trailer which was coming from opposite direction, smashing the taxi beyond recognition.
The numbers of motorcycles in commercial traffic across Ganta and Nimba at large are over 5,000, but there is no regulation in place for the cyclists, in terms of the number of passengers, the weight of the load or the speed limit.