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Opinions of Sunday, 15 December 2002

Columnist: Folson, Ako

Talk is Cheap....A simple Solution to carjacking.

It is quite interesting to note that the recent meet the press segment for the Greater Accra regional minister Sheikh I.C. Quaye mentions carjacking as a high crime now in Accra.It is mind boggling that the issue of lighting still is not put in the context of criminal activities as a facilitator of crime.

I visited Ghana recently, and as I drive at night, I make sure that every red light (stop light), which was not necessary, in my opinion, was run. Why? Who in their right mind wants to be disciplined at the expense of their lives? Many times we find streetlights at very dark junctions where one can be ambushed and robbed without provocation.

It is foolish for anyone, to act civil at night, trying to obey these signs at the expense of their lives. I am not advocating indiscipline but the current situation would make being disciplined second to making sure you are not a crime statistic.

I ask the regional minister, to ensure that there are streetlights in the vicinity of every traffic light, if we cannot afford to light up the city soon. This would reduce the incidence of crime and also reduce any accidents that could result from actions such as running the light to avoid being the victim of crime.

Right across from the Nima police station and the Alitalia office area on the ring road, there is a stop sign, this area also has a lot of shrubs, making it easy for anyone to hide there and pounce on unsuspecting drivers. The area is also dark and routinely there is a mad man who comes out of the bushes and begs. This has gone on for at least the last two years that I have visited and driven. It is not possible that no official has noticed this but we are waiting for a car to run over this person or this mad person to attack someone at that light before we react.

There is a lot of lip service being paid to issues and I hope somewhere along the line, people in power realize that all the public wants is quick responsive solutions to things they can do within their power. How much does it take to commit this madman who can be a potential threat someday? It does not need a consultant, FDI or any massive plan. It takes the simple task of identifying the potential threat and taking the appropriate action. Until the light issues are resolved at the traffic lights, I will continue to run every red light at night and I will ask citizens to do as I have done, do not stand at a red light where lighting is poor. Run the light. Pay a fine if you have to but to honor the red light could mean staging yourself to be victimized.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of Ghanaweb.

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