Feature Article of Friday, 2 March 2012

Columnist: Pomeyie, Caroline

‘Bloodway’ or Motorway?

The George Walker Bush Motorway, which was opened to motorists in Accra a few weeks ago, has already recorded dozens of avoidable deaths. Despite it been the first of a kind in the country, it seems this road is a blank license to murder right here in the heart of Ghana’s bubbling capital city. One too many lives have already been lost on the road.

Motorists appreciate the fact that there are no longer horrendous traffic jams but pedestrians are at pains explaining away why they should rather use unapproved crossings instead of the first class foot bridges.

Many pedestrians prefer risking their lives crossing the road at unauthorized points instead of walking some few minutes to the foot bridges. They keep complaining about the fact that the traffic lights are not many, forgetting that littering the motorway with more traffic lights will defeat the purpose of the fast lanes.

Drivers along the N1 Highway no more drive with caution. Excessive speeding has become rampant. Despite the reckless abandon with which road users ply the highway, they are wont to blame government for the many deaths that have occurred on the nicely manicured road so far.

Ask yourself who the government is. We all come together to form the government. In our own small way, we contribute to develop the country by managing to minimize road accidents. The N1 highway is a blessing in disguise. If only road users would adjust to the changes, taking it from the western vantage point and act wisely using the road, we will end up enjoying the benefits of the road.

Most of the accidents that have occurred so far were avoidable. We as individuals can minimize the road accidents, road users can be disciplined enough to observe the speed limits, given the fact that this road is located in the heartland of Accra.

Would you rather risk your life than use the footbridge? Some education of road users has been done prior to and after opening the road to the public There have been consistent education concerning the road. Our local musicians have composed songs to caution us. The president of the Musicians Union of Ghana, Obour is worthy of mention here.

Why don’t we stop pushing blame on the government knowing very well that we can curb the situation? There is no need for more traffic lights on the N1 Highway. We want to enjoy the benefits of the road but we don’t want to make little sacrifices. Indiscipline has brain washed us. Everything has its demerits, there is nothing like living in an ivory tower, everything comes along with a little cost and its benefits. All we need as Ghanaians is DISCIPLINE. To emphasize, the N1 highway the first of its kind in the country is a blessing in disguise.

You and I can either decide to allow it to remain a motorway, or reduce it to just another arterial road in the city centre. So far, the road has reduced the excessive traffic jams in some parts of the city.

But if we cannot change our attitudes and embrace this novel motorway, it will for now remain a ‘Bloodway’, instead of its original purpose – the motorway!

Source: Caroline Pomeyie

Email: pomeyiecaroline@yahoo.com