Regional News Sun, 1 Aug 2021

#GhanaWebRoadSafety: Chaos at Somanya intersection due to absence of traffic lights

Correspondence from Eastern region

Some motorists plying the Somanya-Kpong road in the Eastern Region have appealed to the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to install traffic lights at the Somanya intersection to control the chaos and heavy traffic at the spot.

The traffic lights had been dysfunctional for close to a decade until they were eventually removed during the reconstruction of the road in 2016.

The intersection is always congested at various times of the day and most days of the week due to absence of the lights.

Many commercial and heavy industrial vehicles, trucks and trailers ply the road to different parts of the town and country.

Some of the motorists told GhanaWeb that there is always confusion at the junction when these vehicles from the Kpong, Trom, Adjikpo and Akuse directions of the junction converge at the spot.

The pedestrians and motorists said due to the lack of traffic lights at the junction, drivers from the various directions all feel they have the right of way.

Motorists said if the Authority was unable to provide the traffic lights, then the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service must always ensure that its personnel were at the junction to control traffic.

A trotro driver, Padi Thomas said “the situation sometimes becomes very serious as almost all the vehicles in the heavy traffic toot their horns in confusion”.

Philip Tetteh is a taxi driver who has plied the Somanya-Kpong road for the past seven years. He said it takes the experience of drivers to avoid hitting pedestrians who cross the road in the traffic melee.

A pedestrian and trader, Henrietta Nanor, crosses the road on a daily basis to and from the market. She shared her experience with GhanaWeb regarding the difficulties she faces due to the situation.

“For the crossing of the road, we find it difficult because there are no traffic lights here and the cars, they just turn and drive anyhow so because of that we stand for ten minutes before we cross the road so we beg the authorities to come and assist us by installing traffic lights here that will give us safe crossing,” she pleaded.

Some drivers have also turned the intersection into lorry parks where vehicles load to various destinations such as Koforidua, Accra, Adjikpo, Asite and Akuse Junction right on the shoulders of the road.

Another pedestrian, Samuel Dzabaku was also spotted meandering his way through the mass of vehicles. GhanaWeb caught up with him to share his thoughts on the situation as well.

He said, “Sometimes when you are coming from the other end you’ll see that there is traffic, but when we get here, you don’t see anything [extraordinary]. These trotro cars plying Madina, Accra, Koforidua, park here, they have been causing the traffic here and the taxis too make u-turns over here and the long vehicles too,” he complained.

Inspector Sarpong of the Somanya MTTD who was spotted directing traffic at the intersection said the absence of the lights created chaos at the spot.

According to him, personnel of the MTTD were usually at the place to control the situation and ensure order.

“It is really affecting the free flow of traffic here because formerly when there were traffic lights, they go according to how the traffic directs them but due to the absence of traffic lights, we have to maneuver and direct the traffic ourselves especially during weekends,” said the Inspector.

Asked what efforts were being put in place to ensure the restoration of traffic lights at the intersection, he said attempts to get the authorities to fix the situation have remained unsuccessful.

“Formerly, we did our best to get the traffic lights installed but all efforts have since proven futile. The education that we give them is that although there must be traffic lights here but in the absence of the lights, they themselves must regulate themselves,” he noted.

He cautioned road users in general to be observant to keep themselves safe, adding that more appeals will be made to the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly to ensure that traffic lights are fixed at the intersection.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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