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15.09.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: What Is Happening?

By Statesman

BARELY five days after Suzzy Williams, one of Ghana's fastest rising stars in the film industry, and a few weeks after three doctors at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital died through road accidents, another eminent son of the land has died through a road accident.

As at press time yester night, Edward Osei Kwaku, MP and Minister under President Kufuor's first term, was reported dead after being knocked down by a Benz 207 bus in Kumasi. His death was confirmed by authorities at the Komfo Anokye Hospital, Kumasi.

We cannot refrain from regret that the lives of Ghanaians are being wasted away through gratuitous deaths on our roads. The economic cost of such human losses is very gargantuan indeed. In the case of Suzzy Williams, it is a vital piece of Ghana's film industry that has been wasted.

The increase in road-related deaths raises a lot of issues. What is really happening on our roads? Is it that our drivers have grown more careless or receive improper training? Are the cars on our roads roadworthy? Are our roads up to international standards?

These and more of such questions need to be asked, if Ghana is to adequately deal with the growing menace of road accidents.

Inasmuch as the deaths of these national assets are unfortunate, we believe there are many more unannounced deaths that do not receive national attention. This nation must really take a very serious view of what is happening on our roads. It has implications for every facet of our national life. How do we expect to increase foreign exchange receipts from tourism when visitors to the country do not feel safe on our roads? The statistics are really frightening and we would not be wrong to predict that Ghana may go up on the unenviable chart of nations with terrible road accident records.

We strongly submit that Government as a matter of urgency be up and doing on this matter. Beyond the appeals for caution on the roads, something drastic must be done. The brightest and the best in our institutions of higher learning must be up and doing. They must through diligent research, find scientific reasons for the upsurge in road accidents. That is what happens in any serious country when a disaster strikes.

We owe it to the memory of the departed souls.

In the meantime, we are calling for a reinvigoration of the National Ambulance Service to save more lives on our roads because as a nation, our response to emergency situations is appalling. Even after May 9, we do not seem to have learnt any useful lessons. We should do everything it takes to preserve the lives of our people. We cannot fail this test.

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