If you’re like me, an expat driving around Liberia with a private car license plate, you probably get pulled over all for various traffic infractions you didn’t even you know you committed. If you’re fortunate enough to have a UNMIL, Republic of Liberia, Consular Diplomat, or Non-Governmental Organization (this only works when it’s on a shiny white SUV) license plate, this doesn’t apply to you. You can drive like an idiot all day long and not get pulled over.
The problem is, aside from the socioeconomic profiling that stems from corruption, that no one really knows the traffic law. Can I legally put a surf board on the roof of a taxi? Is it illegal to make a U-turn when there are no traffic signs in the country? What is the speed limit on a pot holed road in a shanty town?
Well, a while ago I got pulled over and after talking my way out of it, I agreed to buy a copy of the Liberian Vehicle Traffic law from the officer for $20. A day later I had my copy of the law. It was in a very nicely bound book. Each page seemed to be photocopied out of an even older book. Just by looking at it I got the feeling that somewhere, some Liberian police officer was missing his copy.
I think the law is dated to some time around the ’70s. So it may not be the most up to date law, but it’s the only law you can get. There’s no driver’s hand book, or other publication that informs the public on how to drive. In light of this lack of information I’ve posted the entirety of the book here for anyone to educate themselves on how to drive in Liberia. I also had a little help from an independent scanning contractor. I hope this will lead to a better informed, and safer driving public. If nothing else I’d especially like to point out section 6.35.6, which discusses the use of high beams. This is one of my pet peevs here.
LIB Vehicle Traffic Law(pdfs).zip (57.8mb)