Sunday, December 18, 2011


Road accidents always bring pain to victims and their families. Currently in the news is the accident which has claimed more than 35 lives on the Tamale-Bolgatanga truck road over the weekend. When such accidents occur, one is compelled to ask whether the fight against carnage on the roads is being lost. Road accidents in Ghana continue to claim more lives than HIV and AIDS, malaria and other deadly diseases combined. This situation has given the country the tag of being one of the accident prone zones in the sub region. Regrettably though, majority of these fatal accidents can be prevented especially those caused through human errors. In the Central Region alone, 134 people have died from road accidents between January and October this year according to the MTTU. This is only an average of what happens in the country. Unfortunately, as a nation, it appears all efforts to reduce the carnage on our roads are not yielding the desired results. It is true that certain accidents are inevitable and of course that is why we call it accidents. It is also true that most of the accidents are self inflicted. The situation is so serious that today on our roads it is not enough as a driver to be extra careful. This is because another reckless driver can get people involved in an accident. It is a fact that most of the young people who drive are simply under the influence of drugs and alcohol and therefore have no business being behind the wheel. If the work of the doctor is tagged as an essential service, because he deals with lives, then the work of the driver should equally be regarded as essential because their actions also impact on human lives. A couple of years ago, the GPRTU banned the sale of alcohol at lorry stations, yet the practice goes on with impunity. The net effects are accidents. This makes some people wonder if Ghana is actually committed to ending the needless accidents on the roads, after the formation of committees of enquiries and heated debates in the media on how to reduce such horrific accidents. The MTTU early this year started arresting drivers who use their phones while driving. Those who saw the exercise as cosmetic are being proved right as both commercial and private drivers continue to chat on phones whilst driving. For fear of being tagged ‘too known’, as we call it in Ghana, many passengers prefer to be quiet when the driver is over speeding, doing wrongful overtaking, talking on the phone or stopping to pick a passenger at the wrong place. Tackling accidents on the road is multi-sector. The DVLA, Police, Road Safety Commission, government and passengers should not relent in their collaborative effort to effectively tackle the needless deaths through road accidents. The hard truth is that some of the vehicles that ply the countries roads right from the nation's capital to the remotest parts are death traps to say the least. Can the DVLA feign ignorance as to how such vehicles pass the test for road worthiness? The barking has only yielded brutal and costly accidents. The time to bite is now. Christmas is just about two weeks away, where we will witness many commercial drivers over speeding, all in an effort to make more money. It is their cocoa season and the wiser ones will want to reap supernormal profits at all costs and by all means. It is not enough to put numerous adverts, painting the picture that over speeding kills as well as construct more speed humps. The road safety rules need to be religiously enforced.
The decision by the Ghana police Service to deploy five thousand personnel on the roads is welcome news. The police must however bear in mind that it will be an indictment on their image if they look on for the wrongs to go on. Major transport companies should ensure that they use at least two drivers to ply long distance roads. Above all passengers should endeavour to speak with one voice when the driver is misbehaving, after all what is wrong is wrong even if everybody says it is right. Accidents are no respecter of ones status and this must be drawn in the consciousness of everybody. Whilst we pray for the souls of those who have perished through road accidents, Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will lead every vehicle on the road bearing in mind the scriptural admonition that by strength shall no man succeed. Indeed we need the intervention of God as we prepare for the yuletide and the New Year. Long live Ghana, long live all drivers.
It is in the light of these CERT GHANA seeks to use local community memebers to manage such menace.Flood and kind of disaster management is in the interest of CERT GHANA.Post disaster yet another area of interest.We need your support to turns things positive.

Yakubu H.Yakubu
Director CERT GHANA.