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Reactions of Ordinary Liberians to Tragic Motorbike Accident

March 2015

As the Ebola Virus seen to be gradually leaving Liberia, one of the older orders responsible for crippling and the loss of lives in Liberia continues to bring ugly memories and tears in the minds and faces of most ordinary Liberians, especially mothers. Motor bike accidents became grave in the country before the EVD showed its face. Although motorbikes have greatly helped in some aspects of the economy, many people have lost their lives while other limbs have become amputated. In Liberia, most people refer to motorcyclists as suicide bombers because they often see dangers and willfully face them due to careless ridings. Though other men between the ages of 35 to 40 years earned livelihoods from ridding motorbikes, majority of the riders are youngsters between the ages 14 to 34 years.

motorbike accident

The gravity of motorbike accidents compelled national government to stop commercial motorbikes running on major streets in Monrovia. This government decision was, however, welcomed with mixed views. Some people felt that the government was insensitive to the severe sufferings of people in Liberia. These people argued that the population in the city was too large to be served by commercial cars only, and that government actions would encourage criminality since there is no employment opportunity for youths. Their fear was that prior commercializing motorbike transportation, arm robbery was on the rise. Many residents lost their lives while others lost properties or wounded by arm gangs.

On the opposite views, others, especially commercial drivers who consider motorcyclists as a challenge to their money making, are happy. In Liberia, L$ 20 distance for Taxi Cap is L$ 40 distance for motorbike. Interestingly, people are willing to pay the motorbike fares to go quicker than to ride cars to be delayed. This brought tension between commercial drivers and motorcyclists. Motorcyclists allegedly burned many vehicles because those drivers intentionally planned to kill their members. Similarly, some ordinary residents believe that government action, to stop motorbikes running the main streets, was necessary because too many young people were dying or getting crippled daily.

A scene of Motor bike accident

Whatever the case, however, the focus of this article is a tragic motorbike accident that again pulls people together in total disregard of normal Ebola preventive methods recently. Everyone got confused when a young motorcyclist overtaking a Land Rover Jeep bumped into another motorcyclist. Women, men, students, and children were forcing themselves to look at the unconscious cyclists on the ground. The police could not control the crowd emotions as women were shedding tears. This is the reactions of most ordinary Liberians to tragic scenes. A few months back residents of Liberia were afraid of touching each other because they saw people dying like ants. But the death rate has relaxed and they have chosen again the former ways of lives. Most of the people are now shaking hands, hugging, and kissing forgetting that the Ebola virus has a history of resurfacing in previous outbreak nations.

This is serious. I believe the government and her international partners still need to continue the sensitization and awareness of the virus though it seen to be coming to an end in the nation; or else, all previous efforts applied to battle the virus might be like a waste because one infected person has the propensity of plunging the country and her neighboring nations into the ugly pass gradually leaving the sub-region.