Pressure group OccupyGhana has described as “unforgivingly belated,” the latest response by government to the Madina-Adenta highway carnage that sparked spontaneous outrage Thursday after a young lady was knocked dead by a speeding taxi.
A total of 195 persons, including children and students, have since the beginning of this year been killed on the multiple highway with a speed limit of 100 kilometer per hour, according to the residents. Statistics from the Police however put the figure at 24.
Lack of safety measures on the highway for pedestrians, nonfunctional street and traffic lights have been identified as the cause of most of the knockdowns on the highway constructed 11 years ago by the government.
These deaths triggered a campaign early this year for the six uncompleted footbridges as well as the street and traffic lights to be fixed but the government appeared adamant despite the cries of the residents.
Officials said they could fix the abandoned footbridges only in 2019, but the killing of the first year student of the West African Senior High School Thursday caused intense fury among residents who set car tyres ablaze to block a part of the highway at Adenta.
On the back of Thursday’s incident which led to one person being hit by a stray bullet from the Police, government announced it has engaged multiple contractors to start work on the abandoned footbridges within a week.
But commenting on the development which has grabbed headlines and become a national security matter, OccupyGhana said it has been alarmed by the level of deaths on the major highway.
It said Thursday’s incident could have been avoided had government been proactive in arresting the situation sooner.
“OccupyGhana® is surprised that after 11 years of the construction of the highway, none of the footbridges have been completed,” the group said in a statement issued in Accra Friday.
The footbridge, which is integral for pedestrian’s safety, ought to have been constructed before the commissioning of any highway.
“Although we acknowledge government’s statement in dealing with the situation, and find it unforgivingly belated, we assure the government that we will hold them to it,” it said.
It has in the interim suggested to the government eight measures to be implemented to curb the fatalities on the dangerous highway.
Read the full statement below
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESS STATEMENT
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESENTS IMMEDIATE SOLUTIONS FOR REDUCING THE CARNAGE ON TETTEH QUARSHIE-ADENTA HIGHWAY (N4)
OccupyGhana® is alarmed at the spate of pedestrian deaths on the Tetteh Quarshie-Adenta Highway (N4) in Accra due primarily to the unavailability of safe crossing facilities on the road.
The latest accident in which a first-year female student of West Africa Senior High School (WASS) was reported to have been killed becomes the 194th reported death on the Madina-Adentan Highway this year.
OccupyGhana® joins the nation in grieving with the bereaved families of the deceased.
The incident, which caused angry residents to set ablaze car tyres to register their protest to the government, is deeply regrettable and would have been avoidable had government been proactive in arresting the situation sooner.
OccupyGhana® is surprised that after 11 years of the construction of the highway, none of the footbridges have been completed. This has made it unsafe for pedestrians to cross the multiple-lane highway. It is expected that footbridges, which form the integral safety of pedestrians, must be constructed before the commissioning of any highway.
OccupyGhana® is disappointed in the slow reaction of the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Roads and Highways, and the Ghana Highways Authority to handling this issue, thus causing the reported loss of 194 lives. These authorities have failed to take the required safety measures to save the lives of innocent Ghanaians who must cross the roads in the conduct of their everyday business.
Although we acknowledge government’s statement in dealing with the situation, and find it unforgivingly belated, we assure the government that we will hold them to it.
In addition to the measures proposed by government, OccupyGhana® calls for the following immediate measures to be implemented in curbing the carnage on the Tetteh Quarshie-Adenta Highway (N4):
Specific speed limits should be imposed and enforced on that stretch of road; Rumble strips should be constructed on the long stretch of road beginning from the University of Ghana to the Pantang end of the highway to reduce the unnecessary speeding of drivers;
Government should replace all faulty traffic lights with modern, solar-powered lights and provide extra traffic lights with toucan crossing system to allow free flow of traffic;
Public education must be extended to the public on safe crossing of the highways, by the National Road Safety Commission;
Officials of the MTTD of the Ghana Police must be on duty at all times to control the traffic situation till all works are completed on the repair and installation of the traffic lights and rumble streets;
Government must provide adequate road signs and markings along this stretch, fix reflectors on the kerbs and designate and mark crosswalks where pedestrians have priority over vehicular traffic;
Government should fix all streetlights along the corridor and ensure they are properly maintained; and
Enforce our traffic laws! OccupyGhana® is concerned about road safety measures on other highways, most especially the N1 highway that is claiming a lot of lives. Government should apply these same measures on the N1 highway.
Yours in the service of occupying minds for God and Country