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Editorial

Government Must Remain Firm

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Since the restriction placed on the movements of commercial motorcycles in the heart of Monrovia and other municipalities, as well as other vital areas of the suburbs, the debate on the decision continues to be characterized by mix reactions. While some in certain quarters continue to oppose the action of the Liberian Government, owing to the fact that the movements of commercial motorcyclists from the suburbs to strategic parts of Monrovia and other municipalities have and continue to immensely  reduce the transportation problems, most Liberians want the government to remain firm in ensuring the enforcement of  the decision.

But since the decision went into effect on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Monrovia and adjacent municipalities experience calm and accident reduction, as several motorcyclists are in compliance, while others attempting to challenge the action are engaged by their colleagues to adhere to the restriction. The Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Liberia National Police, recently announced the enforcement of vehicular regulations affecting the movements of motorcycles a day following a cabinet meeting at the Foreign Ministry, which houses the Liberian Presidency. The government’s action was against the backdrop of the recklessness and violence accompanying the motorcycling industry resulting to daily accidents and deaths since its introduction across the country.

According to the regulations, motorcyclists must ensure that their bikes are with license plates, road worthy and insured, while their dress code must also conform to safety standards to include helmet, boots, as well as safety jackets, among others, as is being done in other countries. The government’s decision must not be politicized as creating transportation havoc for its citizens as it is being insinuated in certain quarters, but one with the prime objective of ensuring complete safety for both the public and motorcyclists themselves. Motorcyclists must also see the government’s decision as being in their own interest, and avoid being allowed by detractors who may be of no assistance to their livelihood and safety.

In as much as there may be a little pressure from certain quarters of the Liberian society, the Executive Mansion must not fall prey to such pressure that will further weaken the men and women of the Liberia National Police on the field to enforce the regulations. It is not that the government is not in support of the movements of motorcyclists in Monrovia et al from the suburbs, but the issue of reducing the rates of accident and death due to the recklessness of the motorcyclists must be promptly addressed, following which their movements in city centers can be handled.

It is no secret that the public sentiments which usually characterize major policy decisions by the government continue to negatively impact growth and development across Liberia-one of the attributing factors being the gullibility of the Liberian society. And the government must always be firmed in enforcing the law and not undermined itself succumbing to unnecessary public sentiments against the laws of Liberia for which it vowed to UPHOLD.

Law enforcement officers on the field must be allowed to perform the duties on the basis of the law and not public sentiments, even though, at times, they influence decisions, but not when such decisions are targeted at ensuring the safety of the same public.  In view of the foregoing, the ongoing enforcement of the vehicular regulations affecting motorcyclists must not be rescinded because it would show the weakness of the current Liberian Government. We must begin from somewhere, and now is the time.

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