A First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has told the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to have the courage to relocate markets cited along highways and urban roads, if there won’t be an introduction of embankments at those locations to protect lives and properties.
According to him, the rate at which lives are being lost and properties destroyed, whenever accidents occur at locations where markets are located, is worrying.
“Some modifications are needed in existing highways and urban roads to have embankments, especially at locations where there is a market place,” he said.
His comments followed a statement that was made by the Majority Chief Whip and MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, in respect of Monday’s accident at Nsawam.
The accident occurred at the Mobil Junction in Nsawam when a trailer truck failed all attempts to apply brakes, and in the process, ran into unsuspecting road users, including pedestrians.
The accident claimed five lives, injured several people and destroyed properties and wares of those in the area at the time of occurrence.
The MP called for a swift assessment of the situation at the Nsawam filling station intersection on the Nsawam-Kumasi stretch and the Mobil Junction at Nsawam, stressing the need for the provision of traffic lights as well.
“Mr. Speaker, I believe we will not be justified in our roles if we do not make use of the space given us by our fellow Ghanaians to upgrade the call for necessary road safety measures like traffic lights at places where required. Ultimately, road accidents should not be attributable to failure on our path to provide the necessary amenities where they are needed,” he said.
In the view of the First Deputy Speaker, constructing embankments will serve as a protective barriers or shields to the people who sell in and around the market places cited along highways and urban roads.
“We must admit that permitting markets on all the roads – whether it’s a highway or urban road – is a major risk factor. Every location where there is a speed ramp, there must be a market developed there [is not good enough],” he said.
For instance, he noted, when the Minister of Roads and Highways stopped road tolls, some people said their markets had been taken, which had compelled them going to demonstrate.
“There is a market right behind where the Nsawam accident happened. The people have spread over from the market and they prefer to live by the roadside. I think that if we chose to permit markets by the roadside, we should build some embankments such that in the event of a careless driver going off the road, or even a break failure, the embankment will hold the vehicle from crossing over to where the market is,” he stressed.
Mr Osei Owusu added: “If we intend that the people should continue selling by the roadside, there is the need to build a protection into the road. Otherwise, let us have the courage to move the traders off the road.”