MINIMISING ACCIDENTS AS WE ENTER CHRISTMAS ERA
The latest road accident report shows that Ghana has done better this year in managing accident numbers than previous years. And, we must pat ourselves on the back for that achievement.
It means that despite the poor quality of our roads, drivers are becoming more aware of the need to return home safely, together with passengers and cargo.
More importantly, it also affirms the fact that we are beginning to abhor carnage on our roads as law enforcement agencies tighten the laws against lawlessness and recklessness on our roads.
According to the report, to sustain the gains, the Road Safety Commission will be sending undercover officials on the ground during this Christmas to ensure compliance with road safety rules, particularly on highways, throughout the country.
The exercise, they add, will play out with the motor traffic police as partners.
Monitoring is an effective way of getting citizens comply with laws and rules in attaining specific goals. As we may be aware, lack of such key ingredient in public life results in loss of revenue and other resources and, in this case cargo and precious human lives.
That is why the Daily Statesman commends the Road Safety Commission for the initiative. At least, it will awaken drivers, particularly the reckless breed, out of their stupor on principal routes and highways.
Moreover, sustaining the initiative will be commendable, if it serves notice to road users, including bikers, particularly the commercial and tricycle types, that sanity has come to stay on our roads.
A major fault in us as members of the general public is sometimes to keep mute when drivers are over speeding on our roads. Another, indeed, is the tendency for others to take naps along the stretch, and simply hope that the driver – alone – takes them to their destination safely.
While taking naps may be normal, particularly when the trip is a long one, it is still important that some keep awake, and prompt the driver into carefulness as the journey rolls out.
Cooperation is important in this regard because every life matters.
It is common knowledge that during Christmas and the New Year period, drivers tend to wake up early, and close late because they want to make more money from the hustle and bustle associated with the period.
So, drivers running Accra-Kumasi may want to do two, instead of the usual one trip in getting a bonanza. That’s where we tend to find smaller buses competing for space and lane and the cash that goes with being ‘smart’ in Christmas, New Year or Easter.
That is where the relevance of the oncoming Road Safety monitoring exercise comes into play.
Thank God, however, that among the several hundreds or even thousands of drivers on our roads, there are fairly responsible ones who don’t need a whip on their backs to act responsibly.
The truth is that around this time, human and vehicular traffic is enhanced, culminating in a scramble of all sort, as criminals and decent people get along.
What is important is that all of us stay responsible during this period, whether as pedestrians, drivers, traders, cargo owners and state actors in enjoying life and enjoying Christmas.