Liberia: Three Accidents in Seven Days Leading to Nine Deaths on Monrovia-Ganta Highway

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Monrovia-Ganta Highway – Seven days, three crashes, nine dead. This week has been a bad one on the Monrovia-Ganta highway. Tuesday, July 14, 2020 was the deadliest, adding six lives to Monriva-Ganta highway’s road toll – now 27 for 2020 alone.

This week’s first death was just after midday on Friday, July 10, 2020, when two persons died when a bus belonging to the National Transport Authority collided with a taxi near Kakata, Margibi County.

It was just the beginning of the week’s deaths. On Sunday, July 12, three persons were killed in a crash on the infamous Gbakor Hill near Totota. The 7: 50am crash shut the highway and caused commuting chaos during the rush hour.

One person died on Monday, July 13, 2020 when two cars crashed in Weala, Margibi County.  The statistics were obtained from only the cases reported and confirmed by the Federation of Road Transport Union in Bong, Margibi and Nimba Counties, the traffic departments of the Bong and Nimba Counties Police Detachments and other agencies.

On the Tuesday, July 14 road accident, the head of the Traffic Department of the Bong County Detachment, Augustine Kanneh, said: The unfortunate incident involved a truck and a commercial taxi heading towards Ganta. It suddenly suffered a burst tyre and in the process collided head on with the truck which was going to Monrovia from Ganta.”

He requested all relatives of the deceased to contact the St. Kennedy Funeral Home in Gbarnga, where the bodies have been deposited.

According to Kanneh, figures collated on the highway show that most drivers don’t act in compliance with road signs.

“Preliminary investigations conducted by the traffic division on the over 20 deaths that have occurred so far have revealed multiple contributory factors,” he said.

He said the most prevalent among the factors are negligence and disregard for road traffic regulations on the part of drivers involved in the accidents, particularly overtaking and overspending.

Kanneh said other contributing factors are deficiencies associated with road infrastructure.

Kanneh was emphatic that the absence of road signs and roadway markings, are issues that continue to find space in the list of crash contributory factors. “I can’t talk about road accidents and not talk about the danger confronting motorists,” he said.

Kanneh said some of the contributory factors to the avoidable road crashes are the non-roadworthy vehicles, unqualified drivers and gross indiscipline by majority road users.

Kanneh added that the traffic division is constantly at the forefront carrying out education and sensitization programs and constantly engaging stakeholders at all levels to take the necessary steps in their various endeavors to prevent human deaths and injuries on the road.

Kanneh also said, on their part, they are doing everything possible within their mandate to prevent road accidents but most of the accidents occurring in the highway could have been prevented if all road safety stakeholders and parties involved acted in compliance with the existing safety, procedures, standards and regulations.

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