Drivers’ refusal to stop at Zebra crossings; Police warn of arrest and prosecution
The Motor and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has warned that it will arrest and prosecute any driver who deliberately refuses to stop for pedestrians to cross roads.
“Zebra crossings are not road decorations; they are on our roads for a purpose. Therefore, drivers must stop abusing such places to allow passengers to cross the road safely,” the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Mr Anderson Fosu-Ackah, said.
He said the refusal of drivers to allow pedestrians to cross roads at zebra crossing was worrying and needed to be nipped in the bud.
The driving public in Ghana is notorious for refusing to allow pedestrians to cross roads. At places in Accra like the Graphic Road, 37 Lorry Park, the Accra Sports Stadium and Abossey Okai, for instance, pedestrians could spend close to 10 minutes waiting to cross the road at Zebra crossings when traffic lights go off.
Mr Fosu- Ackah was speaking at the launch of a new campaign to reduce the carnage on the region’s roads.
Dubbed ‘Observe Safety and Save a Life,” and spearheaded by the Greater Accra Regional National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the project will have more than 2000 sign posts mounted at all lorry parks in the region.
Supported by the National Lottery Authority (NLA), the sign posts/banners are designed to remind motorists of the constant dangers on the roads and what they could do to prevent road fatalities.
The banners have messages, including, “There is no substitute for safety, ”Making roads safer always starts with you,” “Always stop for people crossing at Zebra crossing,” “Passengers speak up to save a life,” “Don’t drink and drive.”
Mr Fosu-Ackah also expressed concern about the growing trend of drivers handing over their vehicles to spare drivers who had no driver’s licence, saying such drivers endangered the lives of passengers.
He also urged the drivers to control their speed and not allow their speed to control them.
Pedestrian knock downs
Last month, the NRSC raised an alarm about the increasing pedestrian knock downs in the country.
According to the commission, in 2014 alone, 2,571 people were knocked down by vehicles that caused 13,133 road accidents in which 11, 328 were injured and 1856 died. The accidents involved 20,442 vehicles.
Greater Accra’s accident figures have been a matter of concern. In 2013, 416 people lost their lives in road accidents in the region. The figure, however, dropped to 340 last year.
Drivers can do the right thing
The Greater Accra Manager of the NRSC, Mr Daniel Wuaku, who launched the campaign at the Tema Station in Accra, said in spite of the constant criticism from the public, commercial drivers were capable of doing the right thing.
“Let us make a pledge to ourselves that, from today, anytime we look at any of these banners and read the message or look at the pictures, we will think of our families that we left at home, so that it will motivate us to make the right choices on the road.”
“If our families are important to us, we must not drink and drive, speed, do wrongful overtaking, but rather wear our helmets, put on our seatbelts and stop for pedestrians at Zebra crossings,” he said.
The event brought together representatives of all the transport unions in the region.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief Executive of the NLA, Brigadier Martin Ahiaglo, was optimistic that the campaign would go a long way to reduce road fatalities in the country.