THE ROADS AND HIGHWAYS MINISTER, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, spoke the minds of most motorists, when he lamented about the many inconveniencing speed ramps littering our highways. These anomalies, we must add, exist on our urban roads too.
Some of the ramps are so crudely constructed that they pose a danger to motorists.
While some of them are officially-sanctioned and constructed by state operatives, others originate from persons who decide on their own, to do same.
If such acts are not indiscipline-driven, one of the many such acts we experience in the country, we wonder what else they are.
The outcome of the haphazardly and crudely-constructed ramps, is the pain motorists endure in surmounting them, and the broken parts they bring in their wake.
Some motorists affirm that such speed ramps account for a certain percentage of road deterioration. According to them, the portions immediately following these speed ramps, show signs of deterioration, caused by the force required to get heavy-duty vehicles back into momentum, after they reduce their speed to scale the ramps.
Speed ramps, while being sometimes necessary for slowing down or stopping reckless motorists who drive speedily in built-up areas, should be constructed sparingly.
Indeed, they should be constructed by the relevant authorities that possess the required engineering skills.
Unfortunately, we have observed the deliberate destruction of roads, and the damage done to roads in the name of speed ramp construction.
Road construction is a capital intensive venture; and so, when people deliberately go out on their own, to crudely damage our highways and intra-city roads, there is a real cause for concern and action.
The minister made the important observation, while inaugurating critical committees charged with dealing with the challenges of road safety, traffic logjams and other issues.
As responsible citizens of the country, we must begin to protect our roads, as they are state assets that belong jointly and severally to us.
It was disheartening, to hear the minister point out how road signs, whose erection is intended to protect motorists from accidents, get vandalized by scrap-seeking persons.
If the unpatriotic activities of the scrap dealers are condemnable, the apathy of citizens who look on, as such state assets are vandalized and sold as scrap, is highly deplorable.
An assortment of factors could be attributed to the dangerous state of our roads; one of which is the absence of appropriate road signs warning of dangerous bends, for example, and where to reduce speed, inter alia.
Even as the committees begin their critical assignments, it is our demand that the authorities charged with the responsibility of overseeing congestion and road markings, especially consider their assignment as special.
It is time we acquired long lasting paints for our road markings, the ones being used now wearing out so soon, that we wonder whether their input was ground chalk.
As for congestions in our cities like Accra and Kumasi, the task is so herculean that we think the appropriate committee had better joined hands with the Greater Accra Region Minister, who too has been attracted to the sometimes avoidable traffic logjams in the city, and has already commenced operation in that direction.