Gbarnga-Guinea Highway: Bad Tires, Poor Lights Caused 37 Accidents


Monrovia – The Gbarnga-Guinea highway has recorded 37 accidents, 12 fatalities, and 43 injuries, according to John Gavaghan, Road Maintenance and Road safety Chief of China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO).

One car, two pickups, one motorbike, one bus, and four pedestrians, nine trucks, 18 cars, 15 pickups, one motorbike, five bus, and three jeeps were all involved in the accidents.

Mr. Gavaghan said with 10 trucks, 14 cars, seven pickups, two motorbikes, two buses, and a jeep 30 percent were as a result of a burst tire, 27 percent mechanical and 27 percent driver, and pedestrians relate is 16 percent.

 The Chico road safety and maintenance expert said 53 percent of accidents occurred in the day while 47 percent was at night.

He recommended that regulatory authorities must ensure that tires and Lights work before plying roads and should also ensure that broken down vehicle be removed.

Mr. Gavaghnan said drivers drinking and driving or drunk driving and impairment should be tackled so as to avoid accidents.

He spoke at a one-day training organized by Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Liberia National Police and Liberia News Agency for over 15 journalists from Monrovia.

Barkon Dwah, World Health Organization (WHO) presenting on the Global perspective of Road safety and health implications said road traffic accidents is the eighth leading cause of death globally.

He said more death is as a result of accident than HIV/AI, malaria and Tuberculosis.

Mr. Dwah said the figure of death between 2004 and 2008 rise up to nearly 1.3 million deaths and 20 million injuries and alarmed over the global perspective of all road traffic deaths, pedestrians and cyclists account for 26 percent while motorcyclists and passengers account for 28 percent.

He furthers that the risk of road traffic remains three times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries with rates highest in Africa is 26.6 per 100,000 population and lowest in Europe 9.3 per 100,0000 population.

The WHO non-communicable lead said there is a need to establish a lead agency that will directly focus on road safety on grounds that currently there is no funding in the national budget for safety strategy.

“What is mostly affecting the economy is overlooked and there are no statistics for road alcoholic- death, and that should be the focus on so that sensitization can be done to reduce the annual road death rate.”

Liberia National Police (LNP) Chief Accident Investigator Fred Gaye urged journalists and the public to read the vehicle and traffic law.

“Though it is old law, effective reports can only be made if you get acquainted with it, and that is how we will reduce road traffic accident,” Gaye said.

The law was enacted 1972 adding that though it is not an up to date law it is the only law relating to vehicles and traffic.

Yana Tumakova, Advisor, GIZ capacity Development in the transport sector said the average in developing countries globally is 3-5 percent, while the annual cost of road traffic crashes in Liberia in 2017 estimated as equivalent to seven percent of GDP that is US$152 Million per annual.

She said there is a need for continuous assessment of the road to avoid the future damage which is the UN Decade of Action for Road safety framework -2011 to 2020.

The training was in commemoration of the 5th United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2019 under the theme “Leadership for road safety”.

The goal of the week was held from May 6-12 2019 aimed at generating demand from the public for stronger leadership for road safety worldwide.

The project “Capacity Development in the Transport sector in Liberia” advises the Liberian Government on road safety as well as established and development of sustainable and data-based road management system.

The project is supported by GIZ and co-funded by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) and the European Union (EU).