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The Motorcyclists…

by newsmanager

Since the introduction of motorbikes and tricycles in the transport system of Liberia, there have been widespread and total disregards for traffic laws and regulations.

In addition to the brazen acts of violations, mainly involving riders of motorbikes and tricycles, many passengers, not even excluding riders themselves have, over the years, been victimized as a result of the increasing wave of motorbike and tricycle accidents across the country.

Just take a tour to various hospitals and other healthcare centers as well as various depots of the Liberia National Police (LNP), across the country, you will, without any ounce of doubt, come face-to-face with the reality, as regards the unspeakable extent at which motorbike or tricycle accidents have tragically or seriously impacted precious human lives, including the destruction of properties, which values cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Though, we, at The INDEPENDENT Newspaper, fully acknowledge that the entry of motorcycles and tricycles in the country’s transport sector has brought many advantages to several Liberians, particularly the young people in terms of income generation in a country which private sector is yet to be developed, and grossly lacks the means through which more citizens could access much-needed employment opportunities, we think that the operations of motorcycles and tricycles here also has multiple challenges that need to be addressed in enhancing Liberia’s transport system.

In other words, our nation’s transport system needs to be properly and effectively coordinated, supervised and managed in the best interest of all stakeholders including passengers, motorcyclists, tri-cyclists among others.

Moreover, evidence abounds that most, if not all, of the commercial motorcyclists and tri-cyclists in Liberia suffer from gross dearth of the necessary rudimentary knowledge or education as it relates to the country’s prescribed traffic rules and regulations.

As if to add salt to injury, many of the motorcycle and tri-cycle riders here are self-taught and are operating illegitimately.

Although commercial motorcyclists have been contributing to government’s revenue generation through regular taxpayment, registration, among meeting other key requirements since the motorbike system came into existing in Liberia in 2004, much of their operations need to be desired.

Commercial motorcycle operation began here following the forceful resignation of the former President of Liberia, Charles Ghankay Taylor, and his subsequent departure from the Liberian political scene.

Although the commercial operations of motorcycles and tri-cycles are laudable in many respects, there exist more questions than answers, particularly regarding barefaced disregard for traffic rules and regulations by bike riders.

Currently, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 commercial motorcyclists are operating across the country.

On account of the rapidly increasing number of motorcyclists and tri-cyclists in Montserrado County along, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, during her tenure, ordered in 2016, that all motorcyclists must use the avenues around Monrovia, the Nation’s Capital City, to operate.

The erstwhile Sirleaf Administration also ordered, then, that motorcyclists should not ply the principal streets of Monrovia and its environs beyond 10pm, citing a number of people-center security concerns.

That mandate was fully complied with by motorbike and tricycle ridders, then, when Gregory Coleman and Abraham Kromah served in the Sirleaf regime as Inspector General and Deputy Director respectively of the Liberia National Police ((LNP).

Fast forward, during the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections (Mid-term), the government reversed the “No-Go-Zone” decisions against the motorcyclists, a situation, which today seems to be primarily responsible for the prevailing flooding of Monrovia City with commercial motorbike and tricycle ridders, with the LNP having little or no effective control over their operations.

This is why, we, at The INDEPENDENT Newspaper also think that the current administration of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, through the Liberia National Police (LNP), need to amicably engage the leaderships of the motorcycle and tricycle Unions in finding appropriate remedies to the prevailing unfavorable situation, aimed at decongesting the city center of commercial motorcycles and tri-cycles.

We also recommend the dire need for the motorcyclists and tri-cyclists Unions in the country to collaborate with the authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP), for the purposes of enhancing the knowledge and understanding of commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders as regards adhering to basic traffic rules and regulations aimed at safeguarding precious lives and properties.

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