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Murders and suicides on our roads committed by morons
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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Columnist: Oben, Nana

Murders and suicides on our roads committed by morons

There is a new phenomenon on our roads which is claiming and maiming lives of INNOCENT travelers as well as the perpetrators in some cases. It involves a driver of a vehicle (usually a 4-wheeled or a taxi) determined to overtake other vehicles in front, NO MATTER HOW MANY, REGARDLESS OF EITHER ON-COMING VEHICLES OR SPACE; WHETHER ON A STRAIGHT OR CURVED ROAD. They do this by flashing their headlights at oncoming vehicles as they gun down the accelerator to overtake as many vehicles as they foolishly deem necessary. The frightening thing is that (a) these drivers moronically expect the other vehicles, both those in the convoy (to be overtaken) or the oncoming to vanish into thin air in order to make room for them.

Most often we either read in the dailies, or watch on TV’s the horrors of head-on crashes on our roads, and the associated statistics. We normally blame the roads; yes, in some places. My experience however says otherwise, A “moronic” deed/action is an action devoid of any thoughts of other possible consequences. I was driving from Elmina to Cape Coast, just past Oyster Bay junction towards the Iture bridge, when I saw a long convoy of vehicles, headed by a long articulated truck coming from the opposite direction. Suddenly, a late model black 4x4 popped from the middle of the convoy, about six vehicles back; and with headlights flashing, started to overtake the vehicles ahead of it. I thought to myself “with the courtesy of the drivers ahead, he could only manage to overtake at most three vehicles”, as I was approaching. BUT NO!!, he continued past the 3rd vehicle barreling down towards me in my lane. I slowed down just in time for him to squeeze past the truck in front of his lane. Then to my AMAZEMENT, THERE WAS ANOTHER VEHICLE (maybe a 4x4) RIGHT BEHIND IT. I STOPPED RIGHT IN MY LANE, as there were two taxis parked on my right shoulder. Since the convoy was still moving towards me, this second vehicle barely squeezed in front of the truck.

TO MY HORROR, I WAS STARING AT A THIRD VEHICLE BARRELLING TOWARDS ME. “I’M DEAD” FLASHED MY THOUGHTS. THE PASSENGER NEXT TO ME GRABBED ME.

THEN THE DRIVER OF THIS 3RD VEHICLE SLAMMED ON THE BRAKE, “TWE, TWE, TWEE”, THEN “BAM”!! A “F O U R T H” VEHICLE (YES, THERE WERE FOUR VEHICLES ATTEMPTING TO OVERTAKE A CONVOY OF, AT LEAST, EIGHT VEHICLES ON A 2-LANE HIGHWAY) DID NOT HAVE THE TIME AND SPACE TO REACT. The third vehicle, with its brakes jammed on, would STILL have hit me under its momentum. HERE, THE ALMIGHTY STEPPED IN (maybe for me to tell this story, and hopefully save some lives!!

The “F O U R T H” vehicle struck the THIRD at its LEFT REAR CORNER, THUS CATAPULTING IT AWAY FROM MY VEHICLE. When the dust settled, my shaking legs would not permit me to get out of the car to inspect the damage I was surely going to find. My passenger did that. To my surprise he came to tell me there wasn’t even a scratch.

Maybe a lot of the carnage we have been reading about probably happened in similar ways. WHY DO WE SOMETIMES ACT SO STUPIDLY? Common sense ought to tell us just flashing our headlights does not shoo away vehicles in our path, whether on a straight road, or especially in a curve, or on a hill. The occupant of the flashing 4x 4, be it a Minister, Big Shot or what have you, does NOT change the restrictions imposed by the conditions of the road. The ensuing carnage CAUSED BY SOMEBODY’S INDISCIPLINE AND THOUGHTLESS ACT, does not discriminate by status. Ministers, Parliamentarians, Engineers, Doctors, Judges, Lawyers, Clergy can be killed or maimed just as quickly as the poor woman on her way to the market, or a funeral. Something must be done to stop this.

This is a TRUE story that I hope will never be repeated. I hope it saves some lives. I hope the Daily Graphic will publish it to a wider audience. In order to minimize the need for such dangerous overtaking, (a)THE MINISTRY OF ROADS AND HIGHWAYS OUGHT TO PROVIDE PASSING LANES AT STRATEGIC PLACES (in curves, up hills, etc.) for slow trucks to peel off and make way for faster vehicles behind them.

(b)The police at checkpoints can pull aside long trucks ahead long convoys briefly to allow following vehicles to pass by.

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