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Following-up the Regulations and Violations

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At the peak of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health, instituted a number of anti-Ebola preventive measures to support the battle against the disease.

Among the measures was a new transport regulation for all vehicles across the country, restricting the number of passengers in the back seat to three, while the passenger seat at the front carried a single person.

For fear of contracting the disease- also transmitted through body fluids, there was straight adherence to the regulation by both passengers/commuters and drivers.

But since the country was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization or WHO on May 9, 2015, the regulation seems not to be holding. In many instances in Monrovia and its environs, as well as other parts of the country, commercial drivers continue to violate the restriction.

At the moment, drivers are carrying four passengers in the back seats of their vehicles, while some take two in the passenger seats at the front.

While our country may have some of the best laws on the continent, the issue of implementation remains the greatest weakness of the Government, through the regulating agencies and ministries.

Traffic officers of the Liberia National Police- tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the regulation to ensure adherence appear overwhelmed either by the WHO declaration or personal interest.

With the prevailing situation wherein the enforcement mechanism is weakened, neither the authorities of the LNP nor Ministry of Health are even desirous of resurrecting and re-enforcing the regulation.

The issue of the escalating transport fares across the country is another concern the government, through the Ministry of Transport, may be very well aware of, but pretending not to be.

A government regulation issued a few months ago, reduced transportation fares throughout the country due to the reduction in the prices of petroleum products on the world market.

Yet still, commercial drivers continue to exhibit the highest degree of defiance by charging passengers at will without any intervention (caution) by the Ministry of Transport, even though some passengers continue to raise the alarm as mandated.

While a few passengers may be instigating these violations, the inability of the government to ensure the effective monitoring mechanisms may as well be fuelling the disorderliness and lawlessness now taking over the value system not only in the traffic, but our society in general.

If the government is not prepared to ensure the safety and interest of its population, it must equally avoid sentiments in the implementation of policies that would only short-live without any respect and adherence by the public.

While some may be thinking about the issue of human rights and the various violations, others-like us, are also concerned about respect for the laws on the books; and if country must move forward, like we talk about Ghana, Ivory Coast and others, it is incumbent upon us all to exhibit respect for law and order, and that institutions tasked with the responsibility of ensuring such, must to the latter, enforce such law and order in the interest of us all and our nation.

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