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05.04.2007 General News

Death Trap! • Highway Records Three Accidents Weekly

The reconstructed Amasaman highway has become a death trap for motorists and inhabitants of towns and villages along the road, police sources have said.

According to a Police source at the Ga West District Police Headquarters, about three accidents are recorded weekly on the highway that stretches from Ofankor to the outskirts of Nsawam.

"At least one person dies on this road within the same period, and that is quite worrying," the source said.

The police source observed that the most dangerous spot on the road is the ACP Junction where vehicles from the ACP Estates and surrounding areas connect to the main road.

The accidents occur when speeding vehicles from the Ofankor end of the freeway run into those that are joining the road from the ACP Estates and the other communities along the highway.

"Unfortunately, speeding vehicles also kill some pedestrians who are mostly residents of communities along the highway," the police source said.

For instance on Saturday, March 17, at about 8:30 PM, a man of about 40 years was knocked down by a speeding vehicle. He died the following day at the Nsawam Government Hospital where he was receiving treatment.

Another accident involving five vehicles occurred recently at the ACP Junction but there were no deaths.

And on Friday, March 30, four vehicles, one loaded with goods, crushed into each other in two separate accidents at the Ofankor end of the road where the two lane road merges into one line of traffic, close to the defunct Ofankor Police Barrier.

When this reporter drove along the highway on Sunday, April 1, a faulty articulated truck loaded with iron coils had been parked on one lane of the road, close to the John Teye Memorial School.

Investigations revealed that the defective vehicle had been on the road for several days. There was another burnt saloon car abandoned on the median of the road.

The absence of street lights on the highway also poses a grave danger to users.

According to the police source, the lack of accommodation facilities in the Accra metropolis had compelled many people to build their own houses in the Ga West District, thus putting pressure on transportation in the area.

"There is a sharp increase in the population of areas such as Ofankor, Pokuase, Fise, Abease, Ayikai-Doblo, Ashalaja, Amasaman and Medie, so people wake up as early as 3:00 AM to catch a bus to town. And because there are no street lights, some of them are knocked down by speeding vehicles."

The police, therefore, called on the district authorities to provide street lamps and also construct speed ramps on the parts of the highway that run through the towns in the area to check the accidents on the road.

When The Mirror visited the Ga West District Police Headquarters at Amasaman, a large number of crashed vehicles had been parked in the yard while investigations by the accident squad continued.

Story by William A. Asiedu