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Careful, Baby On Board!

Thu, 9 Dec 2010 Source: Marfo, Eugene

Only recently, I was driving, around the El-Wak Sports Stadium, on my way to East Legon. The taxi in front of me was moving rather slowly as there was a lot of space in front of him. Offended, as I was in a hurry, and thinking that he was intentionally moving slowly in order to attract some potential passengers, I blew my horn, hoping it will make him speed up. Drawing closer to the taxi, I observed a young lady with a baby in the back seat of the taxi.

This brought to mind the sticker on the rear windscreen of my sister’s car (she recently gave birth to a baby boy, congrats!) which reads “Careful! Baby on board”

Baby on Board is the message of a small (usually 5 inch) sign originally intended to be placed in the back window of an automobile to alert the emergency services to the presence of an infant in the event of a crash. Today, the sign as placed on automobiles is to warn other road users of the presence of a baby in a vehicle so that they will apply the necessary precaution

Just like the Learner’s Sign that is calibrated on the bumper of vehicles being driven by learners so that other road users, especially motorists will apply the necessary precaution, the “Careful Baby on Board” sticker is supposed to be placed on vehicles especially, when they have a baby on board.

In our part of the world where commercial transportation is heavily dependent on, one group of passengers who are given little attention and for that matter little protection is the group of babies.

Christmas is around the corner and reckless driving is common as commercial drivers rush to cash in on the yuletide. Accidents are bound to increase. In all these, babies, the most vulnerable of commercial passengers are left to this clear and present danger.

I sincerely do not know if there exists a law which compels all cars, both private and commercial, to have some sort of warning mechanism to road users, of the presence of a baby in their vehicle. If there is no such law then I urge people like Speaker Bamford-Addo, Chief Justice Wood A-G Mould Iddrisu, Ursula Owusu and Nana Oye Lithur to move to get such a law passed. On the other hand if such a law does exist, it will be joyous to see Commissioner Atinga Bio and her colleague MTTU ACP, Angwubutoge Awuni, implementing it to the letter.

Christmas is around the corner and our baby passengers are at high risk. We should not let that happen.

EUGENE OBENG MARFO

yawmafio@yahoo.com

Columnist: Marfo, Eugene