Let’s be careful on our roads

Road crashes have claimed the lives of many since the year began and the current incessant accidents which occurred on our roads make the situation worrying.
One leaves the house with the hope of returning but unfortunately this becomes a mirage as the person’s life is shortened or is maimed for life through road accident.
Between January and August this year, reports say that Ghana has recorded 1,585 deaths on our roads. This involved 15,459 vehicles, 1,638 pedestrian knockdowns and 9,397 injuries.
These figures were revealed by the Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, who noted that the figures were higher compared to that of last year within the same period. She, however, noted that there had been a reduction in pedestrian knockdowns within the same period.
Although accidents cannot be predetermined, ensuring safety on our roads is key and this must be tackled urgently by involving all stakeholders to play their roles to push forward NRSA’s ‘Arrive Alive’ campaign which aims at zero accidents on our roads.
Precious lives are lost during road crashes and most of these victims are in the productive age. The repercussion is that productivity suffers and this affects families and the nation as a whole.
The negligence on the part of drivers, especially commercial drivers who mostly drive carelessly and ignore speed limits, violation of red lights, coupled with bad nature of roads, rickety vehicles, and worn-out tyres are some of the causes of accidents on our roads.
Notwithstanding that, the NRSA has revealed that most of the accidents occurred on flat and straight roads, meaning speeding and other factors played a major role.
Besides that, wrong overtaking, non-observance of road signs, drinking of alcohol prior to driving and tiredness which leads to sleeping behind the steering wheel are also factors of road accidents.
Most passengers refuse to prompt the driver when he is speeding, and this negligence affects innocent lives.

In fact, some spare drivers are not experienced and this must be discouraged. The transport unions must ensure that commercial drivers are professionals who possess the requisite licence before the person is allowed to drive.
Recently, there was public outcry on the need for pedestrian footbridges at vantage points on some highways but it is sad to note that some pedestrians have neglected the footbridges and zebra crossings, instead they have resorted to crossing major roads amid speeding vehicles at their peril. This must be checked by the law enforcement agencies and the appropriate sanctions meted to offenders to deter others.
The bad roads should be fixed regularly, with major and minor potholes filled to ensure smooth driving. Road contractors should mount speed ramps at vantage points to check speeding in communities.
Unnecessary competition among drivers as to who gets to his destination early should be avoided to prevent accidents. Those who travel on either short or long journeys must set off early and drive within the speed limits in order to get to their destinations safely.
As the election approaches and the end of the year draws nearer, The Spectator entreats all pedestrians and drivers to be disciplined on the road. Motorcyclists who do not wear their helmets should desist from that to save lives.
Award systems should be instituted to give a special package either quarterly or monthly to drivers who drive professionally.
Transport unions should collaborate with some organisations to institute measures that would check the behaviour of commercial drivers and their vehicles and organise refresher courses for drivers to upgrade their skills.
The NRSA should also intensify its road safety campaigns by collaborating with the media to sensitise the public for a positive change in attitudes towards road safety in the country.
All hands must be on deck to ensure zero accidents on our roads. Let’s be careful on our roads.

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