Parliament yesterday laid the blame of rampant road accidents on the doorstep of police personnel detailed to mount road blocks and non adherence to simple road regulations.
They called for the re-orientation and retraining of police personnel to ensure that they do not end up just extorting money from drivers, but do work to provide the required protection for innocent travellers, bystanders and pedestrians.
The Parliamentarians were contributing to a statement by Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister for Public Sector Reform on the recent road disasters on the Accra-Yamoransa highway.
The statement enjoyed bi-partisan support, reflecting the grave situation of accidents on Ghana's roads which is reported to be the second highest killer after malaria. Dr Nduom noted that the disaster, which caused so many lives, was preventable stressing that even though the new road is safer than the old one, indiscipline by users on one hand and inaction on the part of the Ghana Police has made it worse than before.
"In between," he explained, “the district assemblies in these areas where accidents are prone do not seem concerned with the safety of travellers, but with collecting taxes from drivers and traders who ply their trade near the highway."
He noted that the country needed some changes and they must be made quickly and urged the House and Government to move towards implementation of stringent rules to save lives and property.
Dr Nduom suggested that the shoulders of the Accra-Yamoransa road have been cleared and the available space must be cleared, but is not wide enough, albeit taken by traders. "It is not too late for the Ministry of Transportation to create rest stops that are away from the highway. When this is done, it will allow vehicles in distress to drive to safety."