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Key Agencies Absent From Road Safety Confab

Liberia is yet to conclude and submit its findings and recommendations for the 2021 United Nations 5th Global Status Report, as several key ministries, through their leaderships, are yet to complete their required tasks.
This situation has however led many keen observers to raise eyebrows over the commitment and dedication of the concerned line ministries and agencies.
Despite invitations to the concerned Liberian ministries and their subsequent assurance to attend the presentation of their respective findings and recommendations, several ministries failed to attend the program, without giving any genuine reasons, according to some organizers.
The conference was held in lower Margibi County on Saturday, December 10, 2022.
The National Road Safety Actors from different ministries and agencies deliberated for hours at the Hotel, as participants comprising technical working groups were charged to solicit findings, validate and build consensus on Road Safety data from Liberia.
Those who were conspicuously absent from the gathering marking the presentation of findings and recommendations on the UN 5th Global Status report on Road Safety for Liberia were the Minister of Health, Wilhelmina Jallah and Samuel Wlue, Minister of Transport; Ruth Coker Collins, Minister of Public Works and the Liberia National Police (LNP), among others.
However, minutes after the presentation of the report, the legal consultant on the 1972 Vehicle and Traffic Law amendment, Bendu Clarke extolled members of the Technical Working Group for the efforts which highlighted the outcomes requiring immediate attention from policy makers.
Cllr. Clarke stressed that the recommendations, if followed and implemented by the citizenry, will lead to maximum progress for the benefit of all.
Counselor Clarke maintained, “I am so happy that I was invited to see some of the things that need to be put in the amendment. I will admonish that you forward the report to every one of us, because it is very vital; these recommendations will help us find some of the things we have in the law.”
At the same time, the Coordinator for the Road Safety Secretariat, Samuel Wonasue, assured that the report will be presented to all the Ministers who did not attend the program as well as other members of the Inter-Ministerial Council.
The findings and recommendations for the UN 5th Global Status Report on Road Safety for Liberia was made possible with support from the World Bank.
“It is not an easy thing, all of these findings will be communicated to the Inter-Ministerial Council through our responsible bosses so these findings can be addressed adequately after an intensive three-month work,” he added.
Accordingly, the team, headed by the National Data Focal person, Michael Gaye, looked at the various thematic areas including the road traffic deaths and non-fatal injuries due to road traffic deaths, information system, exposure to risk of road traffic crashes, speed control, insurance and impaired driving.
Other areas are the use of protective devices, post-crash emergency care, governance and finance as well as vehicles and many others, while the essence of the report is to highlight some of the outcomes requiring immediate attention from the information gathered during the data collection process.
It is to, among other things, facilitate the data clearance or ministerial approval once the WHO sends a sign-off sheet and at the same time facilitate the process of political will in adopting the Safe System Approach used globally.
Global Status Report on Road Safety is Published every three (3) years by the WHO to reaffirm understanding of the outcome of crashes as a global health and development problem.
In 2018, Liberia was ranked as one of the worst-performing road Safety Safe System approach countries in Africa and the country with the worst fatality rate (35.9% death to 100,000 populations) in sub-Saharan Africa by the GSRRS. The fifth GSRRS was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In August of this year, a Technical Working Group of Liberians, under the RSS, and with direct supervision of the National Data Focal Point to collect, validate and build consensus on road safety data from Liberia; written by Varney Kamara.

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