0
Regional News Mon, 23 Oct 2017

UEW Kumasi student Parliament discusses road carnage

The Student Parliament of the University of Education, Winneba, Kumasi Republic on Thursday 19th October discussed very important statements laid before the house by some student parliamentarians. One such important statements was on the “Carnage on the road” laid by Hon Amanda Adjornor, member of the minority caucus.

Read below the full statement laid before the house.

"Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege and honour to stand before this august house to deliver a statement on the ‘Carnage on our roads’. I am Hon Amanda Ama Adjornor, a member of the Minority Caucus of this August House.

Ghana has one of the world’s highest rates of road fatalities per capita. According to National Road Safety Commission of Ghana, four persons are killed daily in road traffic accidents. A study by the National Road Safety Commission has further revealed that Ghana wastes morethan 1.2 trillion annually on road Accident. If current trends continue, road fatalities will be the leading cause of death in Ghana.

Available statistics indicate that more lives are being lost on a daily basis as a result of cars ramming into stationary trucks on busy roads across the country. This needs the government urgent attention, as it is becoming very scary nowadays when travelling on our cruel roads, with limited road signs and a high increase of negligence and indiscipline on the part of both pedestrians and drivers with drivers parking at unspecified bus stops due to unexpected faults, and as a result of technical errors, which are no fault of drivers.

This scary development has given rise to the call for a strategy that would deal with the situation.

In other development, ten people lost their lives in a gory accident on the Winneba-Cape Coast highway in the Central Region on 26/06/17 Monday night around 7:30p.m. The said accident occurred at Okyere-ko in Gomoa West district near Winneba.Several others also sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the Winneba Government Hospital. According to eye witness, three vehicles – Hyundai Grace Commercial vehicle, a Pick-up and a Mercedes Benz – were involved in the accident.

Mr. Speaker, another damning accident occurred on 26/06/2017 in the Western Region, which killed a 21-year-old boy, Nana Boroo, who died on the spot at Dompoase near Wassa Akropongwhen his motorbike ran into a tipper truck parked beside the road. Investigations revealed that the tipper truck, which was parked on the sharp curve of the road, had been there for weeks, as the Police looked on unconcerned.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr. Speaker, investigation had revealed that many of our roads, especially our highways or major roads, which are meant for fast moving vehicles and long distance Journey vehicles, have been turned into parking lots and garages for immobilized or stationary vehicles, causing a lot of carnage on our roads. Vehicles that break down on our roads are left, sometimes for days, weeks and in extreme casesmonths and when mechanics are eventually brought in to repair them, they repair them rightthere on the roads, turning entire lanes into garages.

Mr. Speaker, the immobilized vehicles sits, waiting to be repaired (almost never to be towed), the only notice a passing vehicle get are a few three branches placed and scattered a few yards or metres away from the stationary vehicle.

Mr. Speaker, these tree branches do not illuminate in the dark, thus heightening the danger for a vehicle travelling in the same lane, as the immobilized vehicle will ran into the parked vehicle.

This, sadly is how hundreds and thousands of lives are lost on Ghana’s road, these “packed”vehicles, which have commandeered entire lanes onto themselves, have become death traps for unsuspecting drivers and pedestrians.

The tragedy, according to an analyst with knowledge of the causes of road accidents, is not that this problem exists, the real tragedy is that no solution appears in sight, year after year. And yet, rather than think about solving this real problem, we divert attention into some prejudice-drivendiscrimination, that may or may not have much to do with this problem of immobilized vehiclesor of accidents on our roads generally.

Mr. Speaker, it will be recalled that a former president, the late Professor John Atta Mills, once advocated for ways to remove stationary vehicles, which had been identified as a major cause of accidents. He was interacting with a delegation of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU). The late President Mills expressed dissatisfaction at the presence of stationery vehicles, especially on the Accra-Kumasi road, and said despite mechanical faults, the lack of discipline and presence of such stationery vehicles had contributed greatly to the accidents.

Mr. Speaker, the delegation was at the castle, Osu to congratulate the President and his Vice, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, on ascending to the two highest political positions of the Land.

Following the many road accidents, some of which claimed the lives of many important personalities, and prominent among them are the late Ferdinard Ayin, the special assistant to Jake Obetsebi Lamptey of blessed memory, Kwame Owusu Ansah, renowned actor, three eminent Korle-Bu Urologists, and a former Akwatia MP. Dr. Asare among others, many right thinking Ghanaians are calling for a system to curb the menace before something horrible happens.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr. Speaker, 22% of lives lost on our roads are attributed to broken-down and abandoned vehicles, according to statistics from the Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL).

Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Road Funds says the state of the country’s already bad road networks would further deteriorate, if the sector does not receive the needed attention in the next three to four years.

According to a member of the Road Fund, Professor Mohammed Salifu enough money is needed to facilitate road maintenance works on the country’s road networks. Mr. Speaker, this was during an interview he granted to Joy news’ Francisca Kakra Forson, that the space of unmotorable roads led to the establishment of the road fund.

My joyonline.com recently embarked on a project to educate and inform the public on how road maintenance especially, pothole patching has been milking the country’s economy dry. Further investigation revealed that some GH¢ 11,408,756. 4million was spent on routine and periodic road maintenance alone in the Greater Accra Region from April to June, this year.

A total of GH¢ 3,389,405.4 was spent on the patching of potholes on some roads in Accra, which include Tema, Ga West, Ga East, Ga South, Ashaiman and Adenta while desilting of the drainage systems in the same areas and Ga Central, amounted to GH¢ 1,214,714.0.

Mr. Speaker, both the pothole patching and desilting fall under the routine maintenance schedule. The total cost of graveling, surfacing and resealing of roads as well as drainage structures, which fall under periodic maintenance, also summed up in GH¢ 6,804,637.0. Although, the huge sums of money and other resources being channeled into making the roads.

Mr. Speaker, with the aid of detailed road map, inventory of RTSs as well as their conductions was visually evaluated in the STM. In all, 116 RTS, were visually assessed. Of these, only a little over one-half (52.6%) was present 69% of RTSs present were in poor condition.

The road network in the STM is thus poorly equipped with RTSs and this presents a significant traffic safety challenge to road users. And innovative, comprehensive, systematic, and regular maintenance programme that is adequately resourced be instituted, to secure long-term performance of road traffic signs in the metropolis, in Ghana’s quest at maintaining a healthy and productive population.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, 12/07/2017, the football or soccer loving world woke up only to be greeted with the tragic news of Kumasi Ashanti Kotoko F/C involve in a total road accident at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region. Ironically that day coincided with my birthday. Two people were confirmed dead in the horrific crash when the bus of Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

Football club reportedly rammed into a faulty Kia truck.

The stationary bus was said to laden with bags of flour near Nkawkaw on the Kumasi /Accra highway 12-07-2017, 11:07pm.

The dead persons include Thomas Asare, the clubs equipment officer and one other person said to be in the faulty truck.

There were conflicting reports over the identity of the second person. Some claim that he was a driver’s make in the faulty truck and others say he was a mechanic. Eye witnesses accounts indicates that there was no warning sign, behind the faulty truck, and that caused the fatal accident.

Mr. Speaker, the team members also suffered serious injuries during the accident. Among them were Steve Pollack, the club’s Head Trainer, who suffered neck and leg injuries. Former Kotoko player, Godwin Ablordey, who is now part of the technical team, also suffered leg injuries and he is now reportedly using clutches. The players who also suffered injuries are Baba Mahama, Amos Frimpong and Ashittey Ollenu. I would vividly say that, it not only to the loss of human lives on road accident, but to Ghana’s GDP and a lost to human resources (issues relating to people).

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to pinpoint some measures to be taken by government and some transport unit.

Firstly, Good roads and constant maintenance of roads are crucial elements in any road safety strategy. Ghana’s roads are generally not good. Paradoxically we drive first world vehicles on third world roads. The efforts by Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to curb road accidents may be compromised by bad roads especially those that have been allowed to have potholes that can even swallow elephants.

No strategy to reduce road carriage will succeed if it is not complemented by good road repairs and maintenance. In laying the blame for the many deaths that have occurred on Ghana’s roads, the government of Ghana must not be spared. In Ghana small potholes are usually left to become barrel holes, because we do not have a national infrastructure repairs and maintenance culture.

The responsibility for maintaining and repairing roads in Ghana can delegated to metropolitan and district assemblies and young men and women in the area, trained and equipped to undertake them. Road repairs in some countries like South Africa (through their expanded public works programme) serve as employment opportunities for many young men and women in a locality.

Secondly, Adequate and effective signs and road markings are critically essential in any strategy to curd roads accidents. Motorist rely on good road signs marking and maps, to make decisions, such as whether to overtake or slow down or stop.

When there are no road signs, marking and mapping, driving always become a risky adventure. The DVLA in collaboration with the government must ensure that all road signs are clearly visible day and night most especially in places where road constructions are in progress.

Mr. Speaker, I believe when all these measures are considered, there is going to be a decrease and a minimal rate of carnages on our roads"

Source: UEW Student Parliament, Kumasi