General News of Wednesday, 15 January 2020
The perishing of so many lives, 34, through an avoidable accident, of course, deserves a commentary. We have had good cause to remark about much avoidable carnage.
The lull which follows such accidents prompts us to heave sighs of relief and to be elated that at last things have improved only for a breaking accident news story such as the one which occurred yesterday to shatter us again.
We are saddened that but for a second’s poor judgment on the part of one of the drivers, those who perished would not have suffered their fates.
The state in which the bereaved families are in now following the breaking of the news to them can only be imagined. Breadwinners and even kids perished.
We are yet to find a solution to the fatal accidents on our roads. Many interventions have been introduced to address these avoidable accidents, one of them being the creation of the Roads and Safety Authority.
The Ghana Police Service Highway Patrol Unit and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department of the law enforcement agency have all been charged with ensuring that our roads are safe.
That goal is still elusive and so we must all, as a nation, go back to the drawing board to find an effective solution to the carnage on our roads.
The hearts of passengers are always in their mouths when they set out on their journeys because apart from the roads being unsafe, some of the drivers are simply unqualified to handle passenger vehicles, their flaunting of drivers’ licences notwithstanding.
We wish to state for the umpteenth time that the licensing of drivers, especially commercial drivers, needs a review.
It might sound tall in nature but it is one of the means of addressing the challenge of needless deaths on our highways.
Not only is their knowledge of road signs shallow, some of the drivers are simply too reckless to undertake the rather serious task of conveying human beings on journeys which last sometimes over four hours on highways which boast of rather dangerous bends.
The responses to such accidents when they occur are often knee-jerk, short-lived and, therefore, not able to serve their purpose.
In the next few days, police presence would be heightened, especially on the road where the accident occurred. After a few days, it is all over and the reckless overtaking as usual returns.
Officialdom too should consider, as a matter of urgency, the dualisation of our major highways to obviate the tendency of overtaking. We appreciate the cost involved in such ventures. But it is a sure way of responding to the needless deaths on our highways.
We urge government to do even more to ensure that the railway system is returned as a safe mode of transport for Ghanaians. Our highways are too scary and we long to see the railways back on track to afford us a safe alternative.
Our hearts are with the bereaved families during these difficult moments in their lives.
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