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 Key Liberian agencies boycott road safety confab

Liberia is yet to conclude and submit findings and recommendations for the 2021 UN 5th Global Status Report, as several key ministries, through their leadership, are yet to complete their required tasks.

This situation led many keen observers to raise eyebrows over the commitment and dedication of the concerned line ministries and agencies.

Despite invitations to the concerned Liberian ministries and their subsequent assurance to attend the presentation of their respective findings and recommendations, several ministries failed to attend the program, without giving any genuine reasons, according to some organizers. 

The conference was held at the Royal Ambassador Hotel lower Margibi County on Saturday, December 10, 2022. National Road Safety Actors from different Ministries and Agencies deliberated for hours at the Hotel on Saturday, December 10, 2022.

Participants comprising Technical Working Groups were charged to solicit findings, validate and build consensus on Road Safety data from Liberia.

Those who were conspicuously absent from gathering to mark the presentation of findings and recommendations on the UN 5th Global Status report on Road Safety for Liberia were the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and Samuel Wlue, Minister of Transport; Ruth Coker Collins, Minister of Public Works Minister and the Liberia National Police (LNP), among others.

However, minutes after the presentation of the report, the legal consultant on the 1972 Vehicle and Traffic Law amendment, Counselor Bendu Clarke extolled members of the Technical Working Group for the efforts which highlight the outcomes requiring immediate attention from policymakers.

Cllr. Clarke stressed that the recommendations if followed and implemented by the citizenry will lead to maximum progress for the benefit of all.

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Counselor Clarke: “I am so happy that I was invited to see some of the things that need to be put in the amendment. “I will admonish that you forward the report to every one of us because it is very vital; these recommendations will help us fine-tune some of the things we have in the law.”

 At the same time, the Coordinator for the Road Safety Secretariat, Samuel Wonasue, assured that the report will be presented to all the Ministers who did not attend the program as well as other members of the Inter-ministerial council.

The findings and recommendations for the UN 5th Global Status Report on Road Safety for Liberia were made possible with support from the World Bank.

“It is not an easy thing, all of these findings will be communicated to the Inter-Ministerial Council through our responsible bosses so these findings can be addressed adequately after intensive three-month work,” he added.

 Accordingly, the team, headed by the National Data Focal Person, Michael Gaye, looked at the various thematic areas including Road Traffic deaths and non-fatal injuries due to road traffic deaths, information systems, exposure to risk of Road Traffic crashes, speed control, insurance, and impaired driving.

Other areas are the use of protective devices, post-crash emergency care, governance and finance as well as vehicles, and many others. The essence of the report is to highlight some of the outcomes requiring immediate attention from the information gathered during the data collection process.

Global Status Report on Road Safety is Published every three (3) years by the WHO to reaffirm understanding of the outcome of crashes as a global health and development problem.

In 2018, Liberia was ranked as one of the worst-performing road Safety Safe System approach countries in Africa and the country with the worst fatality rate (35.9% death to 100,000 population) in sub-Saharan Africa by the GSRRS.

The fifth GSRRS was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August of this year, a Technical Working Group of Liberians, under the RSS, and with direct supervision of the National Data Focal Point, to collect, validate and build consensus on road safety data from Liberia.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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