By Ghanaweb.com Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan
“Excessive speeding long convoys portend danger especially when a defective car in the convoy hobbles midway to obstruct traffics. In my view the speed at which some vehicles run especially the presidential convoys that often fly are often in danger, therefore a second look must be taken to deal with it for us to be able to save many innocent lives.” AAA
Of late many people across Ghana, are worried about numerous accidents being recorded in speeding presidential convoys one of which recently claimed the life of a correspondent of Ghanaian Times at the Flag Staff House. Apart from the sad happening, previous presidential convoys of Ghana since we gained independence such as the governments of J J Rawlings and John Kufuor have experienced nasty accidents in their convoys during their tenure of office.
Most of the fatal accidents especially that of late Vice President Aliu Mahama that claimed the lives of three people resulted from excessive speed by the vehicles in the convoys.
Although the speeding presidential convoys are meant to ensure security of our President, his Vice and other high profile personalities, the time has come for those concerned with the presidency and road transport system in the country to take a second look at the issue.
Although the high speed limit given to long presidential convoys are well considered and planned over the years studies have shown that the method can be counterproductive if not properly executed. It is true that the convoys do move at top speed to protect the presidents from harm. Unfortunately two of our presidents l late Silvanus Olympio and Muritala Mohammed of Togo and Nigeria in 1963 and 1976 respectively who avoided the presidential swift maneuvers. As they rode through the center of cities they were easily gunned down in coup d’états. In spite of all these Ghana can still choose the middle level strategy by reducing the fast lane top speeding while in city centers and on the highways using all safety and security methods. We can also deal with the issue if we reduce the number of vehicles in presidential convoys and stop those vehicles that force their way into presidential convoys. Studies have shown that some Members Of Parliament and other government functionaries do travel in convoys at unwarranted speed limits irrespective of the poor state of their vehicles. To this end the Ashanti regional coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission, Thomas Bismarck Boakye once stated that private individuals, politicians and government functionaries, who drive in convoys without recourse to speed limits and other road traffic regulations, are clearly flouting the law and need to be arrested and prosecuted. He had a good reason to say this for according to him some ministers of state, MPs and public officials travel in convoys at unwarranted speed and in some cases, and innocent citizens have been crashed to death. It has been made clear by the road transport union that only the president and his vice and to some extent police, fire service and ambulance services have the right under the road transport laws to drive at top speed while on special duties.
Since Ghana’s three eminent urologists died through a motor accident while travelling to attend to their patients, on national assignment, followed by many others, the airwaves and the newspapers have not ceased churning out programs to sensitize drivers’ especially reckless ones to drive well on our roads. This has fallen on death ears as many drivers continue to drive irresponsibly on our roads leaving many accident victims dead while others are maimed and would remain incapacitated for life.
As has been the case: Accidents don’t just happen; they are caused. Therefore in analyzing them, it is important that critical attention is given to factors leading to accidents by every stakeholder including the presidency for solution to be found to it.
Excessive speeding convoys portend danger especially when a defective car in the convoy hobbles midway to obstruct traffics. In my view the speed at which some vehicles run especially the presidential convoys that often fly are often in danger, therefore a second look must be taken to deal with it for us to be able to save many innocent lives.
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