Stemming The Avoidable Fatalities

We empathise with Kumasi Asante Kotoko on the fatalities they suffered following the accident involving their players and officials.

The circumstances in which the accident occurred brings to the fore once more the importance of towing away broken down vehicles on our highways and the need to enforce strictly road safety regulations.

A few weeks ago, the issue of towing such vehicles from the roads came up. The setting up of a towing service and the accompanying levy attained centre stage on the public space. The suspicions definitely dwarfed the importance of the service and the country is the loser considering the deaths occasioned by broken down vehicles on the highways.

The subject must be brought back for consideration because the highway carnage should be arrested forthwith.

So many lives are being lost on our highways that we must go back to the drawing board and fashion innovations to obviate the anomalous situation – the previous interventions having failed to yield dividends.

So far our reactions to accidents have been reporting the fatalities, moaning about them and posting resolutions about stemming them but soon forgetting to implement these until fresh accidents occur.

Much as we are not oblivious of the efforts of the Ghana Roads Safety Commission, we wish to point out, however, that nothing significant has happened in the way of reducing fatalities on our roads.

Joint operations between the Highway Patrol Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Road Safety Commission would go a long way in effecting the much needed change we are yearning for.

We would repeat our call for a national conversation on our road safety situation which for now is so dangerous that traveling on the highway network in the country is akin to a death sentence.

Stringent and enforceable regulations must be put in place to reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of fatal accidents on our highways.

Night travel used to be an interesting option for moving from one part of the country to the other, but it is no longer so as broken down vehicles on these stretches dangle accidents menacingly.

Some of the regulations should include but by no means the only ones, the sanctioning of those who leave their broken down vehicles on the roads. While immediate towing of such vehicles should be ensured those responsible must immediately be arrested for processing especially if visible negligence is detected.

Those who find themselves in the hands of law enforcement agents and found culpable by the courts must face the full rigours of the law.

The enforcement aspect of policing is not up to scratch because of attitudinal and logistical challenges which must be addressed soonest if we seek to reverse the unacceptable situation on our roads.

Elsewhere in this edition, a pillion rider was thrown off a motorbike only for a tipper truck to run over him killing him instantly. Death on our roads are becoming so common that they are on the verge of no longer becoming news when they occur and that is ominous. We must reverse the situation now – yes we can, if we show sufficient commitment; policymakers, law enforcement agents, motorists and the citizenry.