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The Police and public safety

The Liberia National Police or LNP has grossly ignored public safety regulations on the movement of container trucks, including trailers that ply the streets in very dilapidated conditions, posing serious danger to lives and properties.

These trucks have increasingly become killing machines as they usually ply in congested streets and densely populated communities, killing unsuspecting residents, including women and children with the latest accident occurring over the weekend, leaving at least six persons reportedly dead, and scores of others injured.

The Police are still investigating details surrounding a container truck with license plate TB-0511 that left the Freeport of Monrovia late Saturday, 8 April headed down the end of Johnson Street with 40-feet container loaded onboard into the densely populated Soniwein slum community that connects the Rally Time General Market, killing and injuring innocent persons.

But they are usually hired by business people and private individuals to transport goods from the Freeport of Monrovia in their excruciating dilapidated states to business houses and private premises in Monrovia and its environs in clear view of traffic police officers, who absolutely take no action about their unworthiness to ply the streets.

What is even highly disappointing is that some police officers are seen escorting them, particularly in broad daylight amid huge traffic congestions to their final destination, scaring the public away with blaring horns.

It has become glaring that police public safety, particularly as it relates to movements of container trucks in the streets has been relegated to protecting both the interests of business people and the Truckers Union at the detriment of the public.

Time and again, the LNP has announced regulations to guide movement of heavy duty vehicles, including container trucks, but enforcement is lacking. Lip service seems to have taken precedent over real intentions.

The police need to match actions with pronouncements by enforcing laws on the book without fear or favor. The police traffic division should prioritize protecting lives and properties by ensuring that traffic officers in the streets enforce traffic regulations and safety measures.

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Most time, we have observed with much disdain that some traffic officers in the streets are committed to enforcing the law, but their bosses at headquarters pick up telephones and instruct the men in the field to release violators without any explanation. Such compromise is counterproductive to law enforcement.

We believe that if public safety laws on the book were vigorously enforced without compromise, the loss of lives and properties in such magnitude as it occurred over the weekend would have been avoided. In a nutshell, having good laws on the book would become meaningless if their intents and purposes, as in this case, protecting lives and properties, are not achieved.

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