Reckless Truck Drivers on Liberian Highways Threaten Lives

By: George Sarwah Stewart|

Recklessness, especially among heavy-duty vehicles overpowering smaller ones, is a major contributor to fatal accidents on Liberian highways, claiming numerous lives. The most recent incident occurred on April 16 along the Monrovia-Buchanan highway, where a cement-carrying truck collided with a smaller commercial vehicle, resulting in the deaths of at least seven individuals.

The specific causes of the accident are still under investigation, but it is clear that the tragedy claimed several lives prematurely, including that of a young child under the age of five. Despite the frequency of similar past incidents, drivers and road users continue to face dangers on the under-construction Roberts International Highway. The construction company operating on this 45 km road manages fleets of heavy machinery, including trucks and earth-moving equipment. Notably, an incident a few weeks ago saw one of these trucks set ablaze by an irritated mob, after the truck killed a lady.

A careless mindset appears to hearten the recklessness of truck drivers, who often show little remorse for their actions, even when they lead to fatalities in crowded areas or involve smaller vehicles. A tragic example unfolded in my neighborhood one fateful afternoon when a heartless truck driver caused the gruesome deaths of two motorcyclists.

While it’s recognized that motorcyclists can themselves be irresponsible and irritating in the traffic, such behavior does not justify the loss of life. No traffic violation should lead to such irreversible consequences.

Truck drivers are often implicated in major traffic fatalities. In March 2023, a tragic incident in the Rehab Community resulted in the deaths of seven people, including a traffic police officer, caused by a reckless truck driver. While it is impractical to catalog all such regrettable incidents, it is clear that they pose a significant threat to public safety and have a profound impact on the nation.

To enhance road safety and save lives, police can prioritize rigorous enforcement of vehicle inspection laws, focusing not only on light vehicles but especially on trucks, which are frequently reported to have faulty brake systems. There is a perception that some past and present government officials, who own these trucks, protect them from necessary penalties, compromising public safety. It is imperative that our government intensify efforts against traffic recklessness. The safety of every Liberian and resident is crucial and must be treated as a fundamental human concern.  May this claim the attention of Col. Gregory Coleman

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