On Monday morning, October 15, 2012 exactly 7:00 am, I tuned my radio on. The voices of sentimental callers echoed across radio land with many including writers attributing container accidents to bad road condition with specific reference to the Paynesville incident of Thursday, October 11, 2012 which resulted to the death of a Liberian kid.
I wonder why the callers chose to go that route, are they saying that with good roads, no accident can take place, or container accidents have not occurred on good road, what kind of people are these callers? Probably they are from another planet where they have never experienced container trucks or other vehicles accident on well paved roads, I intoned-with my 11 months old daughter trying to push the radio away as if she knew that the callers were discussing the impossible.
My curiosity to publicly comment on the issue increased when I flipped through one of the most outstanding local dailies, the Inprofile Daily in which a group of concerned citizens also attributed the school boy's death to bad road condition.
Quite frankly, I regret the death of this innocent boy, but absolutely disagreed with views and opinions that are attributing the increasing wave of container accidents to bad road condition. Only people who have never live on this part of the earth will be allowed to go free for making such a statement that is not only irrelevant, but also intended to bring reputable and astute characters to public dispute.
Let me paused a bit and bring in some memories of accidents in Liberia and other parts of the world. The death of former Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Harry Fomba Moniba by a truck driver in the USA, was it due to bad road? The series of accidents on the main boulevard including the one on Sunday at the City Hall, was it because of bad road? A container truck accident years back on Coleman hill that resulted to the death of more than 5 people, was it also due to bad road condition? The death of a pen-pen rider across the bridge last year by a container truck, was it because of bad road? The death of Tommy Bernard, former Police boss during the regime of William R. Tolbert, was it because of bad road. I could even name more, but space is limited.
Folks, we have come a long way. Hence, the objective condition of where we are as a people must not be attributed to a particular group of people who might as just well be the rightful people with the rightful minds for national development, but are not getting the desire supports and backing.
Too soon we have forgotten the theft and abuse of our road infrastructures as a major cause of some of these accidents. Just recently, police arrested three persons for stealing street signs and cooper wires from street light poles. No one is looking at this as a major threat to vehicular and pedestrian's movement, but only bad roads.
As a matter of facts, these so call container trucks plying the streets are defective thereby posting serious threats to the movement of pedestrians and people who reside along the main streets. More to this, our failure to give way to these defected container trucks and other vehicles is another problem.
We take advantage of our so call rights and work towards our own death by disrespecting traffic rules and regulations. Then at the end, we shift blame on innocent people who are working around the clock to ensure that the wrongs created by several past governments are corrected.
Probably, the little boy would not have lost his life had the driver of the bus in which he was riding left the road to give way to the container truck. What the so called critics and activists should be doing now is to help educate the public on the narrowness of some of our streets, defectiveness of container trucks and maybe recommend to the National Legislature to enact laws that will forbid heavy trucks including container trucks from plying the streets in the day until improvements are made on our roads as already initiated.
As citizens, we all owed it to our country irrespective of our status. How many of us are thinking of forming organization for the protection of public infrastructures from vandalization, theft and abuses? All we are bent on is to criticize government officials who are giving their best to this nation when we ourselves are our own problem.
Are we all are not aware that with bad road, people drive carefully, then when the roads are well paved? What anyone can convince me of is to tell me that with bad road, economic and movement of people can come to a standstill. But to say that accident can be on the increase is a wrong analysis because no one in his/her right mind can speed on bad road. But with a well paved road, one does not need to be road a safety specialist to determine the level of accidents that will occur especially in a country that citizens have refused to be conscientious.
To all the callers and critics on the container accidents, you need to take a u-turn and be more proactive on issues that will help correct the wrongs created by all of us in this country, then to sit on the fence and defame the high earned characters of others for political motives.
Once again, let me extend my sympathy to the bereaved family for the lost of their son. A hint to a wise is quit sufficient.
The writer is a Liberian professional
He has worked with the
National Reconciliation & Reunification Commission (NRRC)
Ministry of Education (briefly)
Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC),
General Auditing Commission (GAC) and
Ministry of Public Works