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11.08.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: IGP, The Challenge is Yours

Ghanaian Chronicle

The ever-increasing rate of road accidents, with their attendant human and economic costs to the nation, engaged the attention of the President, at his encounter with the media last Tuesday, where he urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to intensify road traffic regulations.

That call is most welcome, because Ghana has for a long time ranked high amongst the leading countries with high rates of motor accidents. It is no wonder that the spate of road accidents has been a major concern for many Ghanaians.

The Chronicle has not hesitated in raising the devastating impact of road accidents on the nation.

In human, economic and social terms, the losses have often been astronomical.

The President identified road users among those responsible for the high incidents of accidents. This is incontrovertible, as has been exposed by some of our television networks through their random checks, to test the depth of some drivers' knowledge on road signs, and the subsequent ridiculous interpretations they gave to some basic road signs.

Added to the above, is the road unworthiness of many of our vehicles. This largely results from the proliferation of spare parts, some of which belonged to the garbage bins from where they came.

These parts give way easily. If they are so vital and are so directly involved in the motions of vehicles, then the consequences are obvious.

Beyond driving dangerously without consideration for other road users, some of these drivers, even where there are clear and imminent signs of danger, like red traffic light signals, do not care. If their ignorance of the rules stretches that far, then that is more ominous.

As we have pointed out before, one does not need formal education to obtain a driver's license. However, knowledge of the Highway Code is a basic requirement for the issuance of such licenses.

It is therefore tragic that persons, who do not have an understanding of road regulations, hold driver's licenses and ply the roads.

This perhaps explains why many broken down vehicles are left without any warning signals, causing fatal accidents.

The contribution of road contractors to the spate of road accidents is also significant. Materials for road rehabilitation works are at times left occupying half the stretch of already bad roads, without conspicuous warning signals, if at all.

It is our belief that sending a few policemen to some of our major accident-prone roads would inhibit the careless and reckless drivers, to reduce our accident rates.

Even though no one driver of a vehicle deliberately drives into another, accidents do not just happen - they are caused!

The President has given the green light to the IGP to intensify his efforts at enforcing road traffic regulations. We hope that the latter would not hesitate to send the best of his Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) personnel into the streets, to curb the activities of reckless drivers.

IGP, the challenge is yours!

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