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June 3, 2018 | Feature Article

Death Trap

Death Trap

We have always lamented over lives lost through road accidents. Countless investigations have equally been conducted into obvious preventable road accidents over the years. Isn’t it about time we stayed away from the status quo and made deliberate efforts at curbing preventable accidents and carnage?

In my humble opinion, the state of Sunyani – Techiman road is not something we should be proud of as a people. I have always had my heart literally in my mouth anytime I travelled on that road.

The road is too narrow, coupled with a lot of potholes, sharp curves, and sharp steeps/hills. It is also one of the busiest roads with regard to it being utilized by vehicles, especially heavy-duty long trucks. The heavy presence of these big trucks usually loaded with construction sand [in most cases uncovered] using this narrow road with other cars contributes significantly to rendering Sunyani – Techiman road a death trap.

The recklessness with which most of these drivers drive their vehicles on that road also bits every stretch of my imagination. Taxicab drivers could speed to whatever limit they wish. One other thing that is breathtaking is the fact that it has become acceptable for drivers [both commercial and private] to overtake one another, even when they can’t see clearly ahead and in sharp curve zones.

Several accidents have occurred on this road as a result of the poor state of the road. God knows how many lives have been lost over the years. In most cases, new users of the road are the ones that are trapped the most. I will strongly caution every new user of Sunyani – Techiman road to be extremely cautious when using this road, especially at night and when it’s raining.

You would have thought that a road of such nature would have enough traffic signs and road surface markings to facilitate easy driving, but that is not the case. There are no road surface markings and little traffic signs on the road, exposing users to more danger and accidents.

The road is known to have always received some sort of patching and pothole filling almost every year in order to give it a facelift, but this exercise obviously isn’t the antidote to the preventable accidents in waiting. What that road needs is total reconstruction, expand the lanes, and reduce the sharp curves and steeps to make it safe for utilization. I do understand that funding road projects comes with huge capital, especially asking for reconstruction of the one under discussion. However, looking at the magnitude of utilization of this road and the number of lives at risk on daily basis, it’s worth reconstructing.

I can confidently say that every dime or pesewa spent on reconstructing this road can be retrieved in a very short term and could also serve as a major source of revenue for government in a long-term. What government need to do after reconstructing the road is to put a tollbooth in place to collect tolls from users of the road. Apart from the heavy traffic of Ghanaian commercial and private cars, we also have a chunk of trucks from neighboring countries who also use the Sunyani – Techiman road everyday.

Reconstructing this road will also go a long way to get rid of children of school going age who abandon classrooms on regular basis to fill potholes on the road, begging for alms from road users for filling potholes.

I would like to commend the President [His Excellency Akufo-Addo] for his commitment to reducing road accidents through an Executive directive he gave about a month ago; calling for redesigning and construction of roads across the country to help reduce accidents. I only pray and hope that the road Ministry take the Sunyani – Techiman road into consideration when implementing the directive of the President.

Author:
Gbolu Samson
Founder & President
PHAN Ghana
samso[email protected]

Gbolu Samson
Gbolu Samson

The author has authored 29 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: GboluSamson

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Gbolu Samson and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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