Development of a Road Safety Action Plan for Liberia 2018 to 2021
Infrastructure Implementation Unit (IIU), Ministry of Public Works
The Government of Liberia wished to develop a Road Safety Action Plan to address the country’s worsening road safety problem. During 2017, Liberia lost an estimated 7% of its GDP through Road Traffic Crashes. In addition to the economic cost, the human cost of the problem was enormous, with vast amounts of money spent on health care for the treatment of victims, who in many cases do not recover sufficiently to contribute to the economy and may have to be cared for by family, increasing the individual and the family’s chances of falling into a poverty trap.
As a means of addressing the road safety problem through an Action Plan, the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 – 2020) was used as a framework for carrying out a road safety assessment to the Government of Liberia’s approach to road safety across all sectors. This framework was based on addressing road safety through adoption of the following principles:
- Road Safety Management
- Safer Roads and Mobility
- Safer Vehicles
- Safer Road Users
- Post-crash Response
Such an approach demanded high-level inter-ministerial co-ordination and hence a key aspect of the project was in ensuring that the relevant Ministries, Agencies and other stakeholders were fully engaged in the process of developing the Action Plan.
Creation of the Action Plan involved the following steps:
- Identifying which areas of road safety fell within the mandate of each Ministry.
- Through co-ordination with the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health identified any areas of overlap and / or ambiguity between Ministries.
- Production of a costed Action Plan of specific road safety initiatives to tackle the elements of road safety that fall within each Ministry’s responsibilities.
This included elements such as:
- Driver sensitisation programmes and community events;
- Creation of a monitoring framework for road safety;
- Development of a dedicated Police Accident Monitoring Unit;
- Safety assessment of the existing road infrastructure using appropriate tools, e.g. iRAP.
- Development of a National Network for road worthiness testing
- Creation of a road safety educational programme for schools
In the creation of the Action Plan, the main ministries and other stakeholders were both interviewed and invited to attend a full-day workshop, in which the findings of the project were validated and the Action Plan itself was developed. The Action plan developed contained a list of individual road safety components, tasks and sub-tasks, along with their allocated owners, cost to implement, and timescales for doing so. The draft Action plan was subsequently circulated again to the stakeholders and development partners with an interest in road safety for comment, from which a final action plan was developed, ready for implementation.
The Action Plan itself was launched by Honourable President George Weah in October 2018, and is currently being implemented.