The increasing death toll on major roads in the country as a result of vehicles running into stationary heavy duty trucks, is causing fear and panic among motorists and passengers alike as many Ghanaians are calling for an effectively towing system to curb the unfortunate development.
Even though road accidents have always been source of major concern to many Ghanaians, the issue of stationary trucks killing more people on the roads, has reignited the debate on how the nation should run its towing system as quickly as possible to save more lives.
Just three days ago, there was a fatal road accident at Dikpa near Tinga in the Bole district of the Northern Region which claimed 10 lives including two children and a police officer.
The Sunday accident left eight others critically injured. It occurred at about 2:30pm involving a Wa-bound Ssrngyong mini bus with registration number UW 171-15 from Kumasi that ran into a stationary DAF truck with registration number AS 379.
According to the Bole Police Commander, ASP David Azumah, the dead included a lance corporal of the Ghana Police Service. “personnel on highway patrol at Banda Nkwanta received information that an accident has occurred at Dikpa near Tinga on Bole Bamboi highway, that some of the passengers sustained serious degree of injuries and some also die instantly.
“The patrol team quickly rushed to the scene and found eight occupants of the bus seriously injured and ten passengers’ dead including two children and a police officer No. 47593 G/L/Cpl Jakper B. Yamdauk with Wa Regional Highway Patrol,” ASP Azumah recounted.
The injured, the police report revealed, were rushed to Bole Government Hospital for treatment and the bodies of those who lost their lives deposited at the hospital morgue awaiting identification and autopsy.
In another development, ten people lost their lives in a gory accident on the Winneba – Cape Coast highway in the Central region Monday night around 7:30pm. The sad incident occurred Monday night at Okyereko in Gomoa West near Winneba.
Several others also sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to the Winneba government hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, three vehicles, a Hyundai Grace commercial vehicle, a pickup and a Mercedes Benz – were involved in the accident.
This paper’s findings revealed that many of our roads, which are meant for moving vehicles, have been turned into parking lots and garages for immobilized or stationary vehicles.
Vehicles that break down on our roads are left on our roads, sometimes for days, and when mechanics are eventually brought in to repair them, they repair them right there on the roads, turning entire lanes into garages. As the immobilized vehicles sit, waiting to be repaired (almost never to be towed), the only notice that passing vehicles get that there is an immobilized vehicle ahead are a few tree branches placed and scattered a few yards or meters away from the stationary vehicle.
Obviously, these tree branches do not illuminate in the dark, thus heightening the danger that a vehicle travelling in the same lane as the immobilized vehicle will run into the latter vehicle.
This, sadly, is how hundreds and thousands of lives are lost on Ghana’s roads. These “parked” vehicles, which have commandeered entire lanes unto themselves, have become death traps for unsuspecting drivers.
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 after year.
And yet, rather than think about solving this real problem, we divert attention into some prejudice-driven discrimination that may or may not have much to do with this problem of immobilized vehicles or of accidents on our roads generally.
It will be recalled that former President, the late 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). 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 stationary vehicles had contributed greatly to the accidents.
The delegation was at the Castle, Osu, to congratulate the President and his Vice, Mr John Dramani Mahama, on their ascending to the two highest political positions of the land.
Following the many road accidents, one of which claimed the lives of the late Ferdinand Ayim, the then Special Assistant to Jake Obetsebi Lamptey of blessed memory, Kwame Owusu Ansah, renowned actor, three eminent Korle Bu Urologist, Former Akwatia MP, Dr Asare among others, many right thinking Ghanaian are calling for a system to curb the menace.