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Opinions of Saturday, 8 June 2019

Columnist: Ferkah Demanford David

Indiscipline on the Tema Motorway

Considering some people’s behaviours in this country, it can be classified as uncivilized and barbaric. Some citizens have decided to put up behaviour without considering what is right and wrong.

People urinate where they are not supposed to urinate, people dump refuse to a place where they are not authorized, people defecate at a place where it will cause negative effects to other people and on top of these drivers and other road users stop and park at places that are not appropriate.

Perhaps, the sad thing is that when we travel to Whiteman’s country, all these behaviours are observed appropriately but we cannot go by the same rules in our own country. What is the problem?

My major concern is the Tema Motorway. Ghana has been witnessing road accidents over the years of which we sometimes wrongly blame the devil without considering the reckless driving on our roads. Let me take you back to 22nd March 2019 about National tragedic road accidents which claimed the life of eighty people at Amoma Nkwanta in the Bono East Region and Ekumfi Dunkwa in the Central Region. Following these horrific accidents, the president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called for the speedy implementation of the recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, tasked to look at the accidents in the country.

One thing we have to understand is that the President cannot develop people in this country unless the people decide to develop themselves. Whatever committee the government will set up, without the people decide to observe rules and regulations the country will continue to bury its people through road accidents though we have bad roads in this country as a fact.

What do we see on the Tema Motorway? There is a lot of indiscipline, which is beyond control on the Tema Motorway, which usually fuels accidents. Some drivers use the lane wrongly especially the heavy trucks, instead of for them to use the outer lane because of the level of their speed, they will rather use the inner lane resulting in heavy traffic and unnecessary overt-taking by the speeding vehicles.

The saddest thing is that some drivers have created unauthorized U-Turn on the motorway which is against the Ghana Highway Code and posing danger to on-going and on-coming traffics on the motorway. These unauthorized U-turns are used by both the smaller cars and heavy trucks and sometimes get stuck due to the bad nature of the area for the turn.

It is not as if authorities are not aware of these bad behaviour on the Motorway because I have seen that big stones have been used to block these unauthorized u-turns but does not yield any good results because these stubborn drivers manage to divert the way to a different place.

Sadly, there are too many unauthorized exist on both sides of the motorway. However, where vehicles cruising at hundred kilometres per hour (100km/h ), other vehicles are also dangerously joining in or existing and sometimes parking without warning signs.

According to the Highway Code, motorways are dual carriageway roads, which may not be used by certain kinds of vehicles or road users, for example, pedestrians, bicycles, small motorcycles except where tracks are provided. The question is what do we see on the Tema Motorway?

It also stated that traffic travels faster on motorways than on the ordinary roads, and you need to sum up traffic situations quickly using your mirror and concentrating all the time are doubly important on motorways.

You have to make sure that, your vehicle is fit to cruise at speed, has a current tyre pressure, and enough petrol, oil and water to take you to the next service area.

It also states that never reverse or turn on the road or cross the central reverse, or drive against the traffic.

Considering the above precautions, I realized that most drivers on the motorway need to be educated because what do we see on the Tema Motorway? All kinds of unauthorized vehicles and motorcycles including bicycles can be found on the motorway. Authorities should put measures in place to punish any driver who will be found using the unauthorized route of the motorway.

We must also ask the related head of Assemblies as to why so many unauthorized structures and human dwellings have been allowed to spring along the motorway? Because of these settlements, people are dangerously crossing the road from both sides of the motorway at the risk of their lives.

My humble appeal is that our leaders should stand on their toes to enforce the law to enhance people to be law abiding so as to bring progress into our country Ghana.