According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), 12, 396 crashes were recorded from January to November 2018 where 20, 082 vehicles were involved, and 12, 318 injuries have been recorded across the country with 2,118 fatalities. Will we continue to lose our cherished family and friends untimely due to negligence, or indiscipline of our drivers? These people are doctors, nurses, lawyers, military men, teachers, accountants, musicians among other prominent people who could use their skill and potentials to better the country or contribute to national development, but their lives were cut short due to someone’s recklessness or mistake.
Indiscipline on the Road
Indiscipline on the road is one of the most obvious signs of serious, pervasive indiscipline in all aspects of a nation’s life.
But, one thing we must understand as individuals is that, no country has developed without discipline and a strong sense of nationalism. National pride and patriotism manifests themselves in several ways but the most obvious is how disciplined citizens are in all they do, think or say. In Ghana, indiscipline on the road started lowly but it has now reached prevalent proportions which requires immediate redress before it gets completely out of hand.
Motor bicycles flout all road traffic regulations right under the watch of police officers. Vehicles drive against the traffic on one-way roads. Vehicles jump red lights as if the lights do not exist. As for motorbikes and red lights, it is a different matter. The riders of motorbikes seem to have re-written their own road regulations which is simply this: motorbikes are not subject to Ghana’s road traffic regulations! The most interesting part is, when you are culprit you do not see anything wrong but when you are victim, you see everything wrong especially when you are on motorbikes trying to escape serious traffic to work or meeting.
Sadly, law enforcement is allowing them to get away with it and the situation is now very frightening.
Driving on the country’s roads has become a hellish experience for its attendant in high incidence of crashes, because of the lack of discipline on the part of some drivers.
Although some private vehicle drivers fall foul of indiscipline on our roads, commercial drivers, made up of trotro and taxi drivers, are the worst offenders.
while zebra crossings are totally disregarded — to most drivers, stopping at a crossing is a favour done to a pedestrian, Commercial drivers have arrogated to themselves, behaving as though they were the most experienced and dexterous drivers or that the roads were constructed solely for them.
They, therefore, employ all kinds of inconsiderate and bad driving on our roads without thinking about other users. Any attempt by another road user to point out their bad driving skills is met with insults and shouts of “too known”.
The way forward
Such, has become the order of the day that instead of having an orderly flow of traffic, our city roads have become notorious for unending traffic jams especially in Accra, which has been largely caused by the indiscipline of commercial vehicle drivers. Do we always need the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) to come direct the traffic jam even when the traffic lights are working? We need to change our attitude as drivers this year.
We must wake up as a nation to deliberately tackle our road sector by providing effective road engineering, strong enforcement of road traffic regulation, to help bring sanity and discipline among drivers and pedestrians.
It is very paramount that communities and stakeholders must assist in championing the cause of safety by contributing towards safety measures. The media must be the leading voice in terms of advocacy to help curb this monstrous canker.
This year, government must see the issue of safety as a national concern. Therefore, there should be less talk and more action.
Government Agencies including MTTD, NRSC should be well resourced to be able to carry out their mandate. The NRSC for instance, should be extended to all districts, increase their staff strength and empower them to undertake institutional enforcement of their stakeholders such as MTTD, DVLA, etc. We all have a role to play in solving this carnage on our roads to ensure minimise road accidents at the minimum level this year.
Ensuring to achieve that is a collective responsibility.
Editor: Mr Louis Owusu