“No one is above the law; as you know this is a country of law and everybody is supposed to respect and abide by the Law,” the Director of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Col. C. Clarence Massaquoi said when sounding a warning to traffic violators at a news conference yesterday.
Col. Massaquoi said the administration of the Liberia National Police (LNP) has observed with serious concern, the flagrant and wanton disregard of the vehicle and traffic laws of the Republic of Liberia by some members of the driving public, especially those working in government whether elected or appointed, driving themselves, or are driven by their chauffeurs.
The Police Director’s statement came a day after the Deputy Police Director for Operations; Col. A. B. Kromah, was summoned by the Liberian Senate relative to some traffic problem involving one of its members and Senator Theodore Momo of Gbarpolu County.
At the Senate, the Deputy Police Director was held for hours prior to him being summoned at which time he apologized to the Senate.
Director Massaquoi himself, a lawyer, said, “We have also observed the illegal use of police lights and sirens by some non-police vehicles while at the same time, motorists create a third lane in the traffic and driving on the shoulder of the road. The LNP is calling on all those engaged in the illegal and unlawful use of emergency devices such as emergency lights, sirens and horns, to immediately desist and remove these devices from their vehicles; while those using the shoulders of the road to create a third lane to refrain and stay on the main road.”
Col. Massaquoi said the above dangerous and illegal practices have become alarming to the proportion that some officials of government when told to observe the traffic laws, attempt to run the traffic police over in a callous disrespect for the law and safety of the public and the police whose duty it is to regulate and control traffic.
The Police Director continued, “This practice is strongly unacceptable, since under Liberian laws, no one, no matter his or her status, is above the law.”
Flanked by his two deputies, Col. Massaquoi said the LNP is therefore appealing to all motorists, regardless of who they are, to strictly observe the vehicle and traffic laws and abide by orders of the traffic police in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the Police which is often considered as courtesy not being accorded and disrespectd.
“Henceforth, the Liberia National Police is warning the general driving public that they will not succumb to threats and intimidation from the public regarding enforcement of the law. More importantly, Authority of the Liberia National Police is strongly warning the driving public that it will not tolerate motorists hitting or attempting to run over police officers while discharging their lawful duties,” Col. Massaquoi said in a serious mood.
He said that on a number of occasions, the LNP have had to fly abroad for specialized medical treatment some of its officers who sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of being intentionally hit by vehicle operators, simply because the officers were performing their lawful police duties.
He noted that the Liberia National Police will resist any and all attempt by any motorist, be they government worker, government official or whoever, to deliberately or attempt to deliberately run its officer over, for this will be regarded as an attempt to murder the officer, and as such, such violators no matter their status, will be exposed and will face the full weight of the law.
“We hope the driving public will take due note of this notice as the LNP remains fully committed to enforcing all laws of the Republic of Liberia equally and fairly without exception other than those provided for in the laws, so that no citizen or other motorists feel discriminated against or feel disenfranchised.
He advised motorists to please leave home early if they wish to avoid the traffic jam in order to get to work on time, or to attend to other personal businesses.