Editorial: Dealing with road crashes: some of the speed ramps are death traps
A report carried by The Finder newspaper yesterday, indicated that as many as 2,080 people were killed through road traffic accident between January and October this year. The figure, according to the newspaper, represents 8.9% increment over last year’s figure, which stood at 1,910.
The Finder did not explain what caused the crashes, but it is obvious that over speeding, defective tyres and wrong over taking are major causes of these crashes.
Though the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) has done its best to streamline acquisition of license, it appears people still manage to acquire this vital document and drive on our roads without knowing anything about driving regulations.
All what these drivers know is to sit behind the steering wheel and start accelerating. They also indulge in dangerous over takings because the speed excite them.
Cargo trucks are also contributing to the problem on the road. Because of their failure to adopt regular maintenance culture, the vehicles, in most cases break down on the highways. To make matters worse, these drivers do not have warning triangles to caution approaching vehicles and cars, especially in the night. Over speeding drivers subsequently run into these stationery trucks, resulting in accidents and casualties.
Some of the cars and vehicles too do not have tail lights, but they interestingly drive through police checkpoints without any checks. Any inexperienced driver can easily run into them and again resulting in casualties.
The Chronicle is aware that the police hierarchy constantly educate their personnel and drivers to ensure sanity on our roads, but the problem is still with us. Since this is a serious challenge confronting us as a country, The Chronicle is appealing to all those who have ideas on how to deal with the situation to come out with suggestions. Ghana is now a lower middle income country and some of these road crashes do not speak well of us.
We are, however, aware that the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) is for instance doing its best to handle the situation, but in the view of The Chronicle, they have also gone overboard. Some of the speed ramps they have constructed on our highways are simply death traps. Those who have been driving on the Accra-Aflao road will attest to the fact that these speed ramps are no more checking over speeding, but potential source of accident.
The speed ramps are too sharp and can cause accidents instead of preventing them. Though we are not totally condemning the GHA for the action they have taken, we think the speed ramps must be smooth and easy to drive over, but at the same time they must force drivers to slow down when they in town centers.
The Accra-Aflao road is an international one used by drivers in Ghana and beyond the borders of this country. Anyone who has not driven on it before can easily cause an accident, instead of the speed ramps guiding them to slow down.
Yes, the road crashes are frightening, but we should not cause more pains in our attempt to arrest the situation. Speed ramps are designed across roads to make motorists reduce their speed and that is what we expect to happen. It is our hope that the GHA is reading this piece and will take the necessary steps to correct what we consider a good idea that has wrongly been executed.