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Opinions of Saturday, 20 December 2014

Columnist: Daily Guide

Sanitising traffic management

The Yuletide is one of the seasons when the traffic management skills of the police are most needed. With indiscipline among especially commercial drivers on the ascendancy, private motorists and pedestrians alike demand quality service from law enforcement agents.

The work of the police has become even more important at this time in our history when as a result of inconsistent power supply traffic lights are subject to rampant outages.

Some traffic lights when they lose power, become bedlams, situations which are exploited by drug addicts or junkies who use tree branches or leaves to direct motorists.

The Director General, Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni, when he met with his subordinates from the various units in Accra and Tema last Wednesday, used the opportunity to address a number of challenges which we find appropriate.

It is for instance not acceptable for commanders in whose jurisdictions traffic lights go off to allow hoodlums, some of them with traits of lunacy, to start directing motorists for a fee of course, although they do not compel drivers to pay.

While we demand nothing less than constant police presence at traffic intersections which suffer power outages, we also ask that the relevant authorities ensure such places have consistent supply of power.

Our position is informed by the fact that some intersections have been without power long before we started experiencing electricity challenges. A case in point is the traffic intersection at Adabraka, Kingsway and Graphic road, which had been without light for close to two years now and nobody cares.

Be it as it may, it behoves the relevant MTTD to deal with the situation so that palm-frond wielding junkies do not seize the opportunity created to make money.

Another issue raised by DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni is about the extortion of money by some cops, anomaly which we pray the Director General’s verbal query would stem.

We were excited that he was specific about notorious MTTD stations in Accra where the anomaly is rampant.

The traffic lights intersection at the Nima Police Station, perhaps on the blind side of the commander in-charge of the unit, has become a quarry for the blue uniformed remnants of the defunct security segment of the Youth Employment Programme.

They jump on the road sometimes at the peril of their lives and slap charges on motorists usually for jumping the red light and they are in league with some bad cops. Sometimes the charges are trumped-up.

On the highway especially in the Central Region, rusty-looking speed guns are used by highway cops to extort money from motorists who have no way of challenging the aggressive law enforcement agents.

We ask DCOP Awuni to do more to save motorists from the money-seeking cops who are tarnishing the image of the Ghana Police Service. That would be his legacy; and we are sure he would relish it especially if others emulate him and carry on with the crusade.