Driving or walking along any lane or street in Monrovia or in any part of this country brings you face to face with what is by now widely known as SIDEWALK MECHANICS.
It is now a familiar sight to see an aged vehicle that has long ago passed its prime, being repaired in the middle of a busy street by so-called mechanics, who could barely speak simple English, completely oblivious to the nuisance they are creating in holding up traffic during rush hours.
Some of these dilapidated vehicles that could be seen plying the roads and streets in this country have long since exhausted their road worthiness certificates with no insurance company on this planet earth willing to insure or even issue these museum pieces any insurance certificate.
The Liberian National Police LNP, the statutory body responsible for supervising, regulating and ensuring that traffic laws and regulations are obeyed by all groups of motorists plying the roads in this Republic, pay very little or no attention to these unsightly behaviors by these “street mechanics”.
Motorists and pedestrians have been left to the mercy of these street mechanics that are fond of plying their trade with impunity’ completely disregarding calls by other motorists to ‘push’ their broken-down vehicle off the road to allow the free flow of traffic.
Sometimes these ‘mechanics’ have the audacity to insult other motorists who will dare tell them to do the right thing by moving their paralyzed vehicle off the road.
Monrovia’s Somalia drive; The stretch of road between the free Port of Monrovia and the Red Light district in Paynesville that busy traffic corridor has now become the ‘PEOPLE’S GARAGE ‘with dozens of spanner wielding fitters working on one vehicle or another in open defiance of traffic regulations prohibiting them from obstructing the free flow of traffic.
This brings to mind three pertinent questions:
Firstly, where are Liberia’s men and women in blue whose professional duty it is to officially dissuade these ‘mercenary mechanics’ from clogging the streets with their mobile garages?
Secondly, where is the Government of Liberia tow truck?
Thirdly, why do the traffic police allow these ancient vehicles to roam the streets in this country, particularly in this overpopulated city?
All too often we see traffic police officers ‘negotiating’ with recalcitrant commercial drivers in a way that tend to suggest that these way-ward drivers are above the law.
It is time the LNP top brass do some in-house cleaning with uncompromising instructions to the LNP traffic officers to carry out their official functions and instructions without hindrance or monetary solidarity.
If all public officials decide to go on the ‘take’ for purely personal financial gains, this Republic we call Liberia will cease to exist. Bribery, extortion and the unrestrained greed for personal satisfaction have no place in any country’s national development agenda.
We expect the Director of Police to take the urgently needed initiative by going on the offensive to rid this congested city of rogue, undisciplined and unlicensed drivers.