General News of Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Source: Ivan Heathcote-Fumador/Ultimate Radio/Kumasi

Arrest politicians speeding in unofficial convoys

Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission has stated that private individuals, politicians and government functionaries, who drive in convoys without recourse to speed limits and other road traffic regulations, are clearly flouting the law and need to be arrested and prosecuted.

There have been several instances where Ministers of State, MPs’ and other public officials travel in convoys at unwarranted speed. In some cases, innocent citizens have been crashed to death. There have also been instances where some public officials have lost their lives in these accidents.

Speaking to Ultimate Radio on the worrying spate of speeding on our roads and its attendant carnage, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission, Thomas Bismarck Boakye, pointed out that beyond the President and his vice, no citizen can move in a convoy breaking speed limits and other road traffic regulations particularly without permit from the police.

“It is illegal for people to arbitrarily choose to speed in convoys but the police sometimes look on and allow it to go on unchecked. The LI 21:8 states it and Act 683 also states it clearly; but we have to change our attitude and behavior towards speeding on our roads,” he stated.

He pointed out that there were two forms of driving being the defensive and offensive style of driving. He explained that while defensive driving was mandatory for every driver, offensive driving is reserved for specific institutions including the Police Service, the Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and the military.

He further explained that even with convoy driving, “the police escort leading the convoy is the one to regulate the guaranteed speed limits for the whole convoy and in Ghana the maximum speed on the roads is eighty. It is now ninety kilometers per hour and it is only on the motorway that you can drive at a hundred kilometers per hour.”

The Commission is also worried about the blatant misuse of sirens which is fast gaining grounds making it difficult for emergency service providers to be given consideration for passage during emergencies.

“People are using sirens even for weddings and funerals, and I don’t know what is so much of an emergency about someone getting married or a dead person going to be buried?” Mr. Boakye queried.

Mr. Boakye asked the citizenry particularly government functionaries to adopt an attitudinal change while the police and other law enforcement agencies work to ensure compliance with the regulations that prohibit reckless disregard for road regulations in the country.