MOT holds dialogue on Axle Load Control
By Lewis S. Teh
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has conducted a one-day workshop on the overview of Axle Load Laws and structure of the Axle Load Control unit that is said to be established at the Ministry of Transport.
Giving the opening statement at the start of the workshop, Mr. Dave Diawoo, Technical Director and Focal Point at the ministry, said the aim of the workshop is to build the capacity of staff who will be leading the charge on issues relating to Axle Load Control.
“We want to welcome each and every one of you here. As you may be aware, the importance of Axle Load Control in our country can’t be over-emphasized, and we count on you to focus because it’s you that [are] going to be leading the charge,” said Mr. Diawoo.
He challenged the participants to apply the knowledge that they acquire from the workshop.
According to him, the main objective of the Axle Load Control is to improve and better protect asphalted regional road corridors and enhance vehicle load management.
For his part, Mr. Anthony Dasibo Uruaka, Project Consultant and Team Leader, told trainees that the objective of his presentation on Axle Load draft structure and responsibility is to impact a thorough understanding and knowledge of the acts and regulations that control the loading of vehicles, among others.
Mr. Uruaka said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Axle Load Control was first signed in 1984 by the Authorities and Governments of the member states of ECOWAS.
He explained that a meeting was held on 12 April 2011 in Ghana for the harmonization of standards and procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle load of goods vehicles.
Uruaka said another follow-up meeting was in February 2012, in Abuja, Nigeria, leading to the approval of the ECOWAS Supplementary Act, the Act required to impose prohibitive sanctions for non-compliance on overload control.
The Act, according to the consultant, provides a harmonization mechanism for the standardization and control of the dimensions, weight and axle load of heavy-duty goods transport vehicles to ensure the control of overloaded vehicles and safety on the highway.
In line with the ECOWAS Vision, the Government of Liberia in 2015, passed into law the Act establishing the Axle Load to protect public roads and bridges from rapid deterioration and destruction to align with the ECOWAS Act.
But the consultant, however, said for the effective implementation of the Axle Load limit regime, there must be thorough enforcement of the law.
He further recommended that the Government of Liberia should consider partnering with the private sector in the establishment and operation of weighbridge stations.
“There should be political will in the enforcement and fighting against overloading,” he said.
He said the law decriminalized Axle Load offenses, and instead imposed stiff fees on apprehended overloaded vehicles.
Mr. Uruaka said effective actions against vehicle overloading should not be limited to the installation of weighing facilities but must be extended to all sectors responsible for heavy-duty overloading.