THOUSANDS of Ghanaians have lost their lives through road carnage particularly, during Christmas. Ghana arguably ranks very high in Africa in terms of countries with high rate of road crashes and road fatalities.
AND not a single day passes in Ghana without road accidents . It is estimated that over 2000 Ghanaians die each year through road accidents. This is indeed frightening for a small country like Ghana. Incidentally the festive seasons like Christmas and Easter tend to record high number of road crashes.
THIS is not only disturbing but also raises several questions about road safety regulations and their enforcement. We have a situation where some of our road regulations have become obsolete which ought to be revised to be in tune with modernity. But that is the least of the problems confronting this country as far as this matter is concerned.
THE biggest challenge facing us is the enforcement of these rules. The fact is that our law enforcement agencies tend to turn blind eye to road infractions and this often encourages motorists to continue to misbehave. The other problems are technical in nature, vis–a-vis worn out tires, as well as poor road conditions.
OTHERS include inexperience driving, speeding and refusing to obey road signals.
For some of these causes drivers have little control over them. Fixing and maintaining bad roads, pot holes, removing needless curves etc is the responsibility of government and its agencies.
However, there are those accidents which drivers can control in order to avoid needless deaths.
ONE of such is making sure faulty parts of vehicles are changed or repaired where appropriate. Spending a little extra to fix faulty parts can help avoid accidents. We believe it is better to invest into changing car parts to save lives rather than keeping the money only to lose our lives.
EQUALLY, drivers can do something about speeding. Often speeding is the cause of accidents around Christmas. The rush to get to our destinations early tend to push drivers to speed up resulting in accidents.
AND in the case of commercial vehicles, passengers also have a role to play. Some passengers have the habit of encouraging drivers to speed up.
DRIVERS should have the courage to disregard passengers who encourage them to do the wrong thing. We will urge caution around this time for the motoring public in general especially, to avoid speeding because it kills.
IT is better to reach our destinations in one peace rather than reach home in body sacks. The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has an onerous task to enforce the law to the letter.
THIS means they should ensure all road users obey the law. The various police check points can help arrest the situation if they can scrutinize every vehicle to ensure it conforms to road safety requirements.