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Daily Graphic Editorial: Excuses for recklessness on our roads not spot on

The day has been described as Black Tuesday, the day on which at least 34 innocent people perished in yet another avoidable road accident.

According to reports, 54 others suffered serious injuries in the carnage that occurred at Dompoase, near Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality, in the wee hours of last Monday.

That same spot, according to records, claimed more than 40 lives on a single day some 10 years ago. Since then, it has recorded other fatal accidents, but because the numbers are small, there seem to have been little media attention until last Monday’s incident.

The unfortunate accident set yet another agenda for the nation, with the issue of what many perceive to be the reason dominating news on the social media, radio and television stations that morning.

To the families and friends of the deceased and other sympathisers, it is time to grieve, wail and shed tears.

However, no matter what people do, the emotions expressed will be nothing new because, as the days go by, we are likely to forget the impact of the tragedy on us until the day we say a final good bye to the innocent souls.

On record, Ghana is perceived to be one of the countries with the most road accidents which claim many lives.

Although this bad credential is written boldly on the wall for all to see, very little is done to stop or, better still, reduce the canker to its barest minimum for us to enter the books as a country of responsible people who value lives.

Analysing the various comments in the media, it was observed that many were those who blamed the drivers of the two vehicles for their recklessness.

That school of thought held the view that it was necessary for the drivers or road users to abide by road traffic regulations at all times.

Some authorities also shared a similar sentiment.

While the Daily Graphic admits that fact, we would like to remind those who hold that view that it is not for nothing that institutions were set up to enforce the rules and regulations governing the road sector.

We cannot always be seen to be sitting back while road users abuse the system, without any action taken against them.

We are particularly disappointed in the various road transport unions which have become more or less finance houses, only interested in collecting daily tolls from their members and not ensuring their safety.

In other jurisdictions, any commercial vehicle that leaves a station is monitored to ensure that it complies with speed limits.

It is also necessary for the road safety authorities, including the motor traffic arm of the police, to ensure that they apprehend recalcitrant drivers who drive dangerously on our roads.

The deaths are one too many and the talking and grieving alone will not help resolve matters if we continue to sit unconcerned while innocent and productive lives are lost.

As a nation, we must all begin from now to be one another’s keeper and stop the excuses for our recklessness. We must be reminded of the cost of such unpardonable accidents, not just on the nation but also our families, friends and loved ones.

Collectively, we also owe it as a duty to change the negative narrative about Ghana being one of the countries to have unsafe roads because it goes to affect efforts at attracting tourists into the country.

As a paper, it is our fervent hope that next time around, we will be reporting positive stories about how we have been able to make our roads safer and not as death traps.


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