The Liberian delegation comprises the Minister of Transport Samuel Wlue, Minister of Public Works Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan, Inspector General Police Patrick T. Sudue, as well as representatives of respective road safety stakeholders: Samuel C. Wonasue, Jr., Coordinator, Ministry of Transport, James Morlu, Technical Director, Ministry of Public Works, Barbes B. Dawodu, Technical Lead, Ministry of Public Works, Alphanso D. Bindah, Liberia National Police Technical Lead, and Michael Gaye, Technical Lead, Ministry of Health. All are members of the Road Safety Secretariat-Liberia.
The aim of the high-ranking trip is to share ideas and experiences with other world leaders, on how traffic deaths can be reduced worldwide. Traffic deaths are a global problem with traffic being the number one killer of young people aged 5-29. This is especially relevant for Liberia, as our country, with 35.9 traffic deaths per 100,000 population, has the highest death rate in traffic worldwide. We are thankful for countries like Sweden, who take the lead in bringing the important, but often-times overlooked, topic on the political agenda. We specifically want to use the conference to: Share among delegates successes and lessons from the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020; Chart on future strategic directions for global road safety up to 2030 and beyond; Define ways to accelerate action on proven strategies to save lives and provide an opportunity to link road safety to other sustainability challenges; Bring Road Safety on Liberia’s political agenda and increase awareness among the population.
The Liberian delegation will attend workshops on topics such as “Road Map for Safer Vehicles 2030”, “Smart investment saves lives: Using strategic communication to create safer streets”, “Excessive Speeding and Distracted Driving: Global Best Practices in Enforcement” and others.
Delegations of more than 80 countries are expected to join the event. We want to use this opportunity and come back with a new vision for how Liberia can achieve its goal of halving traffic deaths by 2021 that yet has to be reached. Liberia already has the Liberia National Road Safety Action Plan and necessary implementing institutions in place in order to reach this goal. The agreed objectives for road safety policy & implementation activities in Liberia for 2020 are: In the field of Road Safety Management we will prioritize on the amendment of the vehicle & traffic law and capacity development of the traffic police officers & road safety stakeholders. For Safer Vehicles we will be making spot vehicle inspections, with focus on trucks, as well as functional lights and tyres condition on all vehicles.
For Safer Road Users we will focus on implementation of regulation of helmet usage obligatory for all riders and passengers of motorcycles. For providing Road Safety Education & Awareness we will design and produce a handbook for drivers & for children, organise journalist workshops, as well as another Safe Streets Festival as annual traditional event in public awareness for road safety at the end of the year.
We see the Government, together with its partners, responsible to achieve these goals. As the Liberian delegation representing our country’s interest in Road Safety from 17th – 20th of February in Sweden, and as road safety stakeholders, we commit to come back with solutions how to implement road safety activities as mentioned and promised. We aim to half traffic deaths in Liberia by 2021 through measures such as helmet enforcement, vehicles road worthiness and soft measures like road safety awareness raising.