Bong County Motor Cyclist
Motorcyclists In Bong Want Third Party Insurance Decentralized
By Ballah Kollie, Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, Feb 27 (LINA) – The leadership of the Bong County branch of the Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union (LMTU), is calling on the Transport Ministry to ensure that the Third Party Insurance Liability launched by the ministry is decentralized.
The call comes nearly a week after Transport Minister, S. Tornorlah Varpilah, announced the launch of the Third Party Liability Insurance Policy which he said, will compel owners of all vehicles including motorcycles, to insure their properties with any of the 18 licensed insurance companies in the country.
Mr. D. Sam B. Elliott, president of the Bong branch of the LMTU, told the Liberia News Agency that when the insurance scheme is decentralized, it will afford them the opportunity to access the policies of the 18 insurance companies as a way of helping them select the company that will best represent their interest.
He said while they were willing and prepared to cooperate with the process, they need to be given time; and questioned the conduct of the ongoing inspection in the absence of what he referred to as insufficient public awareness and sensitization.
He argued that it was wrong to unleash state security against peaceful citizens who do not have the requisite information of how to proceed.
“We have more than 6,000 cyclists across the 12 districts of this county and unless we are properly informed and given the opportunity to make the rightful decisions, we will not allow anyone to force us against our will or be forced to register with a particular insurance company,” stressed the local LMTU president.
He has, meanwhile, called for training and material assistance for cyclists many of whom, he said, are exposed to future blindness, being crippled when involved in accidents and other dangers they might encounter while struggling to win bread for their families.
He claimed that many of the riders are former combatants and school drop-outs, while others are college students who, he said, are also contributing to the national budget through the payment of taxes, but prefer to be treated with justice and not being forced against their will.
He said Bong County started the motorcycle business in Liberia in 2004, less than a year after the Liberian Civil War came to an end.
He explained that it started as the Bong Motorcycle Union (BMC), intended to divert the attention of former fighters who did know not much about civilian life, and the realization that unless something was done to give these former fighters hope, government would find it difficult to deal with or handle them.
He said they joined the Liberia Motorcycle Transport Union in 2005 and that their membership has grown to more than six thousand in all districts of the county.