New graduates of the School of Professional Driving Education (SOPDE)
The School of Professional Driving Education (SOPDE) in the Sinkor suburb of Monrovia has graduated 41 students with basic skills in driving and road safety, as the keynote Speaker calls on Liberian authorities to do more to enforce traffic regulations.
Speaking at the ceremony over the weekend, the Managing Editor of the Public Trust Media Group (PTMG), Mr. Frank Sainworla, Jr. said encouraging driving Education and Enforcement of Traffic Regulations would make Liberia’s Roads Safer.
Mr. Sainworla, who also graduated from SOPDE many years ago, said safety of our roads is primarily the responsibilities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) which has the department of Public Safety with the Traffic division under it and the Ministry of Transport.
But sadly today, there’s lot to be desired when it comes to public education on road safety and drivers education. More and more, people are turning up behind vehicle steering, operating “keh-keh” and motorcycle taxis without even the least education on the rules of the road and traffic safety signs and signals.
“As a trained driver and a product of this great school (SOPDE) for close to 20 years, and anyone who knows about this subject would agree with me that safety on Liberia’s roads is reaching crisis proportions.
They recklessly overtake in the curve, on hills like I saw this week while driving to and from the RIA….They abruptly intrude into the opposite lane at high speed with impunity—motorcycles and vehicles on roads like Tubman Bourlevard.
Joining them are even those who are supposed to be some of our top officials, who are illegal riding around with sirens. They’re violating the country’s vehicle and traffic law. Only five categories of vehicles are entitled to ply the streets with sirens: 1. The President of Liberia 2. The Vice President of Liberia 3. The Police 4. Ambulance 5. The National Fire Service But today, every Tom, Dick and Harry is going around with siren, such that some “Pehm-phem” riders have also mounted some sort of siren on their motorbikes.
This is the situation in Liberia, where order is thrown through the window and we just find it almost impossible to implement any law, regulation or policy. Former Police IG, Gregory Coleman promised to enforce the illegal use of siren when he first took over during the Ellen Sirleaf’s regime, but as everything does in this country, the rest was history after barely two weeks,” the Liberian media executive said.