By Edwin G. Wandah
As police begin the enforcement process of motorcyclists in Monrovia and its environs, residents have been feeling the impacts with already few vehicles in the city to commute people. Police in Monrovia on Monday announced that as of Wednesday November 6, 2013, no motorbikes will be eligible to ply the main streets of Monrovia.
According to the Police, anyone violating these rigid measures will be arrested and charged according to law as a crackdown by Police on motorcyclists after they were reportedly involved in setting a bus ablaze and wounding several police officers, including Deputy Police Commander, Col. Darlington George.
Many people who constantly commute to Monrovia and its environs have attributed the recent action by the Police to crackdown on motorcyclists due to several criminal activities being carried out by them (the motorcyclists). According to the Police, a mob violence which avenged the death of one of their friends who was killed by a-75 seater transport bus was one of the recent incidents the Police are capitalizing on so far.
At the Police briefing also, Police Spokesman, Sam Collins openly said that the Police is ready and prepared to enforce the order that was released by the Government concerning the ban.
Recently, the Ministries of Transport and Public Works gave similar automaton to ban motorcyclists from plying the main streets until certain measures are put in place. The two Ministries suggested that the rampant increase in motorcycle accidents in Monrovia and its environs are caused by reckless riding on the part of some of motorcyclists.
According to the Transport Ministry, several Medical Centers in Monrovia and its environs are jam-packed with various kinds of cases of motorcycle accidents. The Ministry release said most riders of motorcycles do not observe the safety measures before riding their motorbikes.
The Ministry said safety gears, helmets for at least the rider and the carrier (probably one person), shoes and insurance schemes are sometimes lacking for most riders of motorbikes.
Meanwhile, according to several riders of commercial motorbikes in Monrovia the latest action taken by the Police to ban them from plying the major streets is unacceptable and only intended to deny them of self-employment which has been one of the major sources of income for them and their families.
Speaking on a local radio station in Monrovia yesterday, one Jallah who spoke in favor of the motorcyclists blamed the Liberia National Police for their action. According to Jallah, the Liberia National Police will be responsible for any consequence their action will produce.
He said preventing hundreds of motorcyclists from plying the main streets means denying thousands of persons the opportunities to survive and they will react in the best interest of themselves to claim the attention of the Government.
“We will attack the Police if they come after us tomorrow; they cannot deny us of living to feed our families, because, it is through the motorcycles that we (the hundreds of Motorcyclists) feed our families,” the disgruntled motorcyclists stated.
Few months ago, the Liberia National Police placed an automaton on motorcyclists riding after 10 p.m. and that has been holding successfully, but several persons in and out of Monrovia have expressed frustration over the recent action. According to them, not everyone owns vehicles in the country and there are only few commercial vehicles that are available to transport people to their various destinations.
The ten counts regulations include 1. All motorcyclists are prohibited from running along the UN Drive, Somalia Drive, ELWA Junction and Tubman Boulevards respectively. 2. All motorcyclists are required to use Pipe Line and Neezoe Roads, Chicken Soup Factory, New Georgia, Old Road and Barnesville and there will be no entry to the main roads. 3. All motorcyclists operating in the Clara Town area must remain in their respective locals. 4. Motorcyclists in New Kru Town must only run in New Kru Town, and 5. Motorcyclists from the 12th Street must only run on 12th Street.
Counts 6, 7, 8 and 9 read, Motorcyclists in Matadi, Airfield intersection, 24th Street, Vamouma House and access to the main city streets are strictly prohibited. And count 10 says, all Motorcyclists are required to wear proper safety and protective gears at all times and be in possession of their current motor vehicle registration documents.