NRSC/Police to arrests pedestrians who avoid footbridges (May 9, 2016)

Seven months after the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange Footbridge was opened to the public, at least three people have lost their lives after they ignored the bridge and crossed the highway.

Many other pedestrians have also been injured for choosing to endanger their lives by running across speeding vehicles instead of using the footbridge.

Jaywalking on the highway has been made easier by the destruction of crash railing and barbed wires meant to block pedestrians from crossing the road.

According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the increasing jaywalking is worrying and needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.

To encourage the public to use the footbridge, the commission mounted a “Use the footbridge” campaign where members of the public caught crossing the road were educated and cautioned.

The three-day campaign saw at least 50 pedestrians who crossed the highway at unauthorised places educated on road traffic regulations.

Among the excuses given by the offenders were: “I’m sorry I didn’t see the bridge” “I have a running stomach”, I needed to cross the road quickly” and “I fear heights.”

The law

Section 154(3) of the regulation states that “a pedestrian who fails to use a footbridge or an underpass where one is provided commits an offence”.

Persons who engage in jaywalking are liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than seven days or both.

Prior to the construction of the bridge, a number of pedestrians had lost their lives while trying to cross the road.

Enforcement
An Assistant Planning Officer of the commission, Mr Victor Bilson, said from next week the commission would start serious enforcement of the law.

“If you don’t go to jail, you will be fined and your face will be in the national dailies,” he warned pedestrians who have refused to use the footbridge.

He said the campaign had become necessary to make the public conscious of the dangers of not using the footbridge.

“It is unheard of that people wait for five to 10 minutes to battle six lanes of speeding vehicles compared to using less than five minutes to cross the same distance on the bridge. Which one is reasonable?” he asked.

“What we are trying to do is not to prosecute for fun but to educate and save human lives. Pedestrian knockdown alone is over 40 per cent of the country’s accident figures.

“Road safety has gone beyond engineering. The people were complaining about the lack of footbridge here but now that we have it, why are some people refusing to use it? It is now about our conscience and attitude. That must change,” he said.

Mend fence 
The Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Airport Police Station, DSP Augustine Akrofi, said the knockdowns were because of recklessness on the part of some pedestrians.

He, therefore, urged the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to mend the barbed wires that had been destroyed, arguing that the spaces left would always tempt pedestrians to cross the road from unapproved points.  
Seven months after the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange Footbridge was opened to the public, at least three people have lost their lives after they ignored the bridge and crossed the highway.
Many other pedestrians have also been injured for choosing to endanger their lives by running across speeding vehicles instead of using the footbridge.
Jaywalking on the highway has been made easier by the destruction of crash railing and barbed wires meant to block pedestrians from crossing the road.
According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the increasing jaywalking is worrying and needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.
To encourage the public to use the footbridge, the commission mounted a “Use the footbridge” campaign where members of the public caught crossing the road were educated and cautioned.
The three-day campaign saw at least 50 pedestrians who crossed the highway at unauthorised places educated on road traffic regulations.
Among the excuses given by the offenders were: “I’m sorry I didn’t see the bridge” “I have a running stomach”, I needed to cross the road quickly” and “I fear heights.”
The law
Section 154(3) of the regulation states that “a pedestrian who fails to use a footbridge or an underpass where one is provided commits an offence”.
Persons who engage in jaywalking are liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than seven days or both.
Prior to the construction of the bridge, a number of pedestrians had lost their lives while trying to cross the road.
Enforcement
An Assistant Planning Officer of the commission, Mr Victor Bilson, said from next week the commission would start serious enforcement of the law.
“If you don’t go to jail, you will be fined and your face will be in the national dailies,” he warned pedestrians who have refused to use the footbridge.
He said the campaign had become necessary to make the public conscious of the dangers of not using the footbridge.
“It is unheard of that people wait for five to 10 minutes to battle six lanes of speeding vehicles compared to using less than five minutes to cross the same distance on the bridge. Which one is reasonable?” he asked.
“What we are trying to do is not to prosecute for fun but to educate and save human lives. Pedestrian knockdown alone is over 40 per cent of the country’s accident figures.
“Road safety has gone beyond engineering. The people were complaining about the lack of footbridge here but now that we have it, why are some people refusing to use it? It is now about our conscience and attitude. That must change,” he said.
Mend fence 
The Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Airport Police Station, DSP Augustine Akrofi, said the knockdowns were because of recklessness on the part of some pedestrians.
He, therefore, urged the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to mend the barbed wires that had been destroyed, arguing that the spaces left would always tempt pedestrians to cross the road from unapproved points.  
- See more at: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/63470-nrsc-police-to-arrests-pedestrians-who-avoid-footbridges.html#sthash.M7KQy6bh.dpuf

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