Road Safety Action International first acknowledged the tragic road accident that occurred yesterday on the ELWA – RIA Highway at around 4:00 pm local time. This unfortunate road accident took away the precious lives of approximately 9 innocent individuals including young Lucky Smart who was a promising student at the African Dream Academy.

The RSAI Team extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families and extends prayers and encouragement to victims of the accident. While we are saddened by this unfortunate road accident and praying for the victims and the bereaved families, we will exert all efforts as part of our road safety advocacy initiative to work with the victims and the bereaved families to ensure proper redress is accorded to them.

Photo from the accident scene

After a thorough review of the CCTV footage that was captured by a store camera nearby and considering the RIA Highway in context, Our Road Safety Experts have deduced that the following are the probable causes of the accident:

  • The vehicle was not road worthy and
  • Lack of road safety measures in the construction zone along the road

Referencing these probable causes, Road Safety Action International believes that the accident could’ve been prevented if the Safe System Approach, which covers all aspects of road safety were in place. It is also unfortunate that this accident may not in any way serve as a wake-up call to address the pressing problem of road fatalities because our leaders have purposefully normalized breaking an international traffic norm by using the opposite lane on all our roads, despite the fact that road accidents are on the increase in Liberia. 1.35 million lives are lost every year due to road fatalities globally and up to 50 million injuries occurred as reported by the WHO Global Status Report. Road traffic fatalities are expected to be the 5th leading cause of death for people of all ages by 2030 if NO ACTION IS TAKEN TO PREVENT IT.

The burden lies heavily on countries such as Liberia which has experienced a dramatic increase in road accident fatalities from 1,600 in 2016 to nearly 2,000 in 2021. More disturbing, Liberia uses the traditional approach which holds drivers or road users as culprits of these tragic road accidents instead of the Safe System Approach, which holds transport designers, planners, and policymakers as culprits for these kinds of terrible road accidents. RSAI has identified the probable cause of the accident and hopes the adoption the Safe System Approach.

Sign: The Management
Road Safety Action International