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Special Feature

Traffic and road safety regulation:

-Compromises that contribute to high crash fatality rates in Liberia

A Liberian Journalist currently in the United States on the 2019 International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) has stressed that traffic and road safety regulation compromises by enforcement authorities contribute to high fatality rates in Liberia; as he commends the People of the United States of America for the opportunity which has motivated his urge for best cultural practices in specific respect to road and traffic safety measures in Africa.

Abraham Wheon, one of Liberia’s popular talk show hosts was selected by the United States Embassy through the recommendation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Deputy Chief Kelvin George to participate in IVLP program on Traffic Safety ;A Regional Project for Africa.
Mr.Wheon explained that the program which comes to a climax this weekend has exposed the dangerous circumstances under which citizens travel daily to find earns meet.

He said safety comes first in everything one does in life and there should be no compromise on the issue of safety of citizens of any country and therefore said it’s now time that everyone join ranks to mitigate this menace.Mr.Wheon said a compromise of every traffic regulations leads to the deaths or injuries of citizens and undermines economic growth of the country.

He stressed that urban and rural crashes are as a result of direct violations of road safety regulations, such as observing speed limits, traffic signs, and failure on the part of enforcement officers to make sure that faulty vehicles are taken off the main street when they break down.Mr. Wheon exerts that Traffic and road safety regulation compromises contribute to high crash fatality rates in Liberia.

He said compromises through obstruction or policing for personal profit erodes the credibility and confidence in the police force thus fuel lawlessness.
He said the current vehicle and traffic laws were carved for the protection of citizens or road users from potential danger and calls on every state actors responsible especially the police to enforce them.

The RCI Deputy Director General called on national leaders to respect the vehicle and traffics laws if the ordinary citizens are to follow suit.He said interference with police enforcements by public officials put the lives of other citizens in danger and plead with officials to stop interfering or undermine the enforcement by flagrantly violating those same laws.

Reminiscing his recent visit to America, Wheon said he has understood that every investment and programs initiated by American Government is to get Liberia on par with best international practices and standards that make America Great in the world.Wheon said Americans live by the very systems they envisage in Liberia. He said, Liberia been a country that moulded his governance systems from that of the America, one would think why Liberia has failed over the years to adapt and implement the very system they subscribe to.

He said Liberia can be a symbol of America in Africa and that calls for concerted effort in which no one sees himself as lord or god who cannot be affected when it comes to adherence of the systems and laws meant to regulate everyone.

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Mr.Wheon said the influx of Liberians to the United States to seek greener pasture or acquire quality education has never paid off on the local scene; simply because some of those who are products of the western education and opportune occupy enforcement related areas in Liberia failed to replicate same for the good of the country. Mr.Wheon however said he as professional journalists over the years cannot blame the citizens for the level of lawlessness which now poses serious life threat to everyone but the enforcement authorities.

He reminiscence the ;Every First Saturday Clean Up and Central Broad Street runways restrictions instituted by the former City Mayor Mary Broh and currently obeyed by citizens as most recent references that point to citizens ability to obey once there is stronger and firm enforcement mechanism observed by everyone.

Wheon who has availed himself as traffic safety Ambassador, promise upon his return to engage into more public awareness through civil society organizations to curb most of the behaviours that lead to the increasing waves of crashes in the country.

Commenting on the issues of road safety, he said it is important that that why the country is faced with serious challenge in the areas of roads infrastructures, much emphasis be played on the existing roads through rigorous maintenance program to be financed from the roads funds. Better roads according to him are gateways for economic growth.

He concludes thanking the United States Government for the opportunity granted through the IVLP and acknowledged that the visit was more than site seeing and cultural exchanges but rather it serves as a catalyst for changing orientation and apply adaptable cultures for national growth and development.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

Wheon was selected to participate in the program that has to Traffic Safety; a reginional project for Africa.The which is sponsored by the US state department and administered by the Graduate School of the USA brought together police inspectors and road engineers from 15 other African countries including: Burkinafaso,

Nigeria,Mali,Mozambique,Kenya,Niger,Seychelles,Sudan,Togo,Uganda,Zambia and Zimbabwe.
While in the United States, the VISITORS were lectured on the appropriate mechanism for traffic safety by law enforcement officers, policy makers as well as engineers in various states they visited during the three week period.The visit which began in Washington DC on the 2nd of November took a tour through Philadelphia, North Carolina, Arizona and ends in San Diego in the border state of California on the 22nd of November.

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