From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Kwaku Buah, Manhyia Divisional Commander, has indicated that effective road safety requires enforcement of road traffic regulations.
He explained that to observe safety on the roads, there is the need to assess the environment, engineering and equipment, in order to enforce the laws, based on public education.
ACP Kwaku Buah was speaking at a forum dubbed “Church and Community Sunday”, organised by the Grace Baptist Church last Sunday on road safety, in the face of the advent of reckless and unruly behaviour of motorists and tricycles.
He lamented on the grant of loans by the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to enable people acquire auto rickshaws (Pragyia) to operate illegally on the roads, and at the expense of the safety of unsuspecting travelling public.
The Divisional Police Commander did not see why MASLOC should encourage and facilitate the acquisition of the auto rickshaws, when they were not supposed to operate commercially.
He called for the enforcement of the existing laws, so long as the status quo remains unchanged, to save lives, and questioned why operators of rickshaws are levied by the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
According to him, 12 road accidents occur daily, out of which two persons die, and called on the public to accept change.
ACP Kwaku Buah also expressed concern about the emerging drug abuse among the youth, which he described as a national issue, and called on churches to come together and contribute towards building a rehabilitation centre in the northern sector to fight the development.
He said it was unthinkable as society looks at the youth kill themselves with the menace and die at an alarming rate.
The Police Chief also criticized terrorism, which causes fear, bodily pains and death to intimidate people over political and religious views.
The Regional Head of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Madam Simbiat Owiredu, reported that last year 2,341 died out of road accidents, and that 400 deaths had been recorded out of 3,000 cases of road accidents this year.
The NRSC Regional Head stated that tricycles and auto rickshaws are not meant for commercial purposes, and that notwithstanding, riders need to be licensed in order to operate safely.
Rev. Dr. Kojo Osei-Wusu, who moderated the programme, called on the government to regulate the operations of commercial vehicles, and also called on Christians to be law-abiding to ensure the required change in society.
Paul Adu Gyamfi, Esq, who provoked contributions on the topic in a key note address, observed that in Ghana, we, as a people, fail to punish wrongdoing, hence, lots of indiscipline on the roads.