Pardon me if I feel compelled to conjure up mental images of the overwhelming burden of road crashes that our minds refuse to recollect. The circumstances of constant accidents and deaths of people bleed my heart.
There is no doubt drivers are the major actors when it comes road accidents. Anytime there is the mention of indiscipline on our roads, all attacks get thrown at drivers and commercial ones for that matter.
That same amount anger should be directed at pedestrians too for they too are not saints. Road safety education must not only be centered on drivers all the time. Both the media and the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) must without rest raise awareness of the risks posed by road crossing procedures, particularly on highways.
The Madina-Adenta highway almost always has reckless drivers who pay no heed to speed limit signage and even the general rule on our road which implies that whether there is a speed limit signage or not, the maximum speed at which one can drive is 90km/h is disregarded.
I witnessed a mother and child nearly hit by a car, which took me back to November, 2018. There was a call for authorities to fix footbridge on the Madina-Adenta stretch immediately with the hashtag ‘#fixourfootbridgesnow and save our lives’ on social media. This even led several Ghanaians in that neighborhood to stage a protest on the Madina-Adenta-Aburi Highway
A lot more people joined the protest because a student, who in an attempt to cross the highway, lost her life to a speeding vehicle. She was not the only victim who had lost her life on that stretch. A man was also hit and dragged over a distance till his body got thorn into half by a taxi driver that very month.
Needless deaths have been recorded as a result of the negligent behaviors of pedestrians. The call for the completion of the footbridges has been answered and these same callers refuse to use them because they claim the footbridges are too long and winding to use.
The MTTD disclosed a record of 24 deaths and 164 injuries between January and October that year on that particular stretch.
The police may continue to arrest people, the National Road Safety Authority and the media may continue providing education on the dangers of the actions of pedestrians but each individual’s safety always lies in their hands. The sooner we get off behind those silly usernames and quit the claptraps and irrational invective against one another and realize the “fix the country and “fix your attitude” online brouhaha are interwoven, the better.
We should for once put away politics and observe our environment, analyze our thoughts and actions, and ask ourselves whether there will be any effective change if the government fixes the country without the necessary support of the public?
Uncle Ato said it best, “Oman yi bεyε yia, efre yεn ara.”- the betterment of the nation lies upon our shoulders.
>>>The writer is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. E-mail: [email protected]