Editorial: Faded road markings must be worked on

March 2, 2021 By 0 Comments

Not long ago, state-owned Daily Graphic published a banner story under the headline: “Faded markings pose threat to road users.” The story sought to draw attention to the degree of danger, as far as the faded road markings are concerned, especially in the nation capital and some of the highways linking it to other cities and towns.

According to the story, which was backed with appropriate pictures, street markings, which are adopted globally as a road safety mechanism to help guide drivers and pedestrians on the proper use of roads, are conspicuously absent on some of the streets visited within Accra and on the highways connecting the city to other parts of the country.

The story continued that as part of the traffic control plan, street markings provide visual guidance for road users, and warn them when they are about to veer off their lanes. It is instructive to state that these aberrations are not only happening in Accra, but throughout the entire country, including the Ashanti Region. Road users such as school children could find it difficult to cross roads to school and vice versa.

In the Ashanti Region, many road signs and signals have faded. Many are road intersections which used to have zebra crossings that have all faded away, exposing road users to abject danger. This development has been raised severally at stakeholders meetings by the media, but the city authorities do not appreciate the danger at stake.

The Chronicle lauds the state-owned newspaper for bringing this to the attention of the authorities, and joins hands with our colleagues to drum home about the need to address the fading zebra crossing and other road markings issue.

Road signs and signals are part of the Vienna Conventions that was ratified on 8 November 1968, of which Ghana is a signatory to. According to the convention, carriageway markings (road markings) shall be used, when the competent authority considers it necessary to regulate traffic, or to warn or guide road-users. They may be used either alone or in conjunction with other signs or signals to emphasize or clarify their meaning.

The system prescribed in the Convention differentiates between the following classes of road signs: (a) Danger warning signs: these signs are intended to warn road-users of a danger on the road and to inform them of its nature; (b) Regulatory signs: these signs are intended to inform road-users of special obligations, restrictions or prohibitions with which they must comply; they are subdivided into: (i) Priority signs; (ii) Prohibitory or restrictive signs; (iii) Mandatory signs; (iv) Special regulation signs; (c) Informative signs: these signs are intended to guide road-users while they are travelling or to provide them with other information which may be useful.

If we, as a country, have signed onto this international road regulation, then The Chronicle is at a loss as why we are failing to obey the rules. Indeed, as the Daily Graphic report indicated, most of the roads in Accra do not have appropriate road markings, thus making it very dangerous to drive using them. A typical example is the end of the Motorway at the Tetteh Quarshie Circle in Accra.

Though cars and vehicles coming from Tema to Accra and vice versa travel at top speed, the markings on top of the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange have faded, which is very dangerous.  These speeding cars upon reaching this very spot do not know the lanes they are using. Since we are talking about human safety here, there must be regular inspection of these markings by the relevant authorities to ensure absolute safety of road users.

In the advanced countries, knocking down a pedestrian on a zebra crossing is a serious offence, but here in Ghana, it is trite to see drivers honking at pedestrians whilst they are on the zebra crossing, crossing the road. If our motorists are doing this even when pedestrians are legitimately crossing the road,  then one can imagine what will happen if the  zebra crossing is faded. This is the reason why the authorities must act fast to save lives and not wait till a life is lost before the situation is remedied.

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