Minister Varpilah Sets Up Safety Committee

Monrovia, Tuesday, June 4, 2013: Transport Minister, S Tornorlah Varpilah has constituted a National Committee that will help the Ministry of Transport design programs to improve road safety in Liberia.


The committee will specifically undertake a national study of the general situation of the growing motorcycle industry in the country and advance possible recommendations that will facilitate the formulation of informed policy decisions which will holistically address some of the critical problems associated with motorcycle operations including the high rate of accidents resulting to injuries, deaths across the country. Results of the study will be used to develop an integrated road safety program for Liberia.


Speaking in an exclusive interview with journalists on Monday, June 3, 2013 at his Broad Street Offices, Minister Varpilah who expressed very serious concern over the high rate of motorcycle accidents in the country stressed that it is about time that this trend is urgently reversed in the national interest.


Expounding on the mandate of the committee, Minister Varpilah said the main goal of the research is to generate data on commercial motorbike riders, identify  and examine their socio-economic, development and cultural perceptions and attitudes  and including the causes  of  motorbike accidents and its health related issues for effective policy planning and implementation.


He mandated the committee to understand the general situation with specific focus on injuries and deaths growing out of motorcycle accidents and make appropriate recommendations. “My administration will leave no stone unturned in undertaking studies and initiating programs that will bring great improvement in the overall transport sector of Liberia’, Minister Varpilah emphasized.


Concluding, Minister Varpilah said with an estimated number of motorcycle riders put at over 50,000 youths, there is a compelling need for continual awareness and civic education to enable them to know their rights, show respect for the rule of law and prioritize safety in their daily operations from which they earn their living.


Members of the National Committee include the Ministry of Health, the Medical School, Cuttington Graduate School Public Health Program, Search for Common Ground, YMCA, Rice and Rights, World Bank, GIZ, Liberia National Police, Motorcycle Unions, Civil Society Organizations and the Ministry of Transport.


In a related development, Minister Varpillah returned home over the weekend from Accra, Ghana where he participated in the Transport Infrastructure West Africa 2013 Conference held from May 27-30, 2013, under the theme, “Promoting Sustainable Development and Integrated Transport Infrastructure in West Africa,” focused on three broad issues: (a).Connecting economies, (b).regional integration, inter-modal development and interconnectivity, and (c) project finance, private sector participation, and development finance.