The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, has stated that the problem of faulty traffic lights in Accra will become a thing of the past by June this year.
The ministry, he said, would establish a Traffic Management Centre to remotely coordinate all traffic signals.
According to him, the centre would also enable the Department of Urban Roads to undertake fault monitoring of traffic lights.
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Mr Amoako Atta gave the assurance when he took his turn at the meet-the-press series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra last Tuesday.
That is good news and a heartwarming assurance coming from the government, especially because of the timelines attached and the pain the faulty traffic lights have caused motorists and pedestrians.
Traffic lights are supposed to bring sanity on our roads by controlling congestions and motor accidents. And it is somebody’s responsibility to ensure that they are in good condition at all times.
But are they really being monitored and serving the purpose for which they were mounted?
The maintenance of traffic signals is a fundamental aspect of the Department of Urban Roads responsible for the operation, maintenance, improvement and repair of all of the traffic signal installations.
We have observed that the existing system of routine maintenance has proved to be very expensive, time consuming and inherently inefficient.
This problem calls for a highly efficient telemetric control system that will monitor all the traffic intersections and also establish some control over the intersections from a base station.
To minimise faults on site, all halogen signal heads should be replaced with LED signal heads because of its almost everlasting life span.
Statistics show that a number of the accidents occur in the night, the reason the Daily Graphic is worried about the absence of street lights and road markings, as well as non-functioning traffic lights.
Not too long ago, a bridge constructed over the railway line on the Graphic Road in Accra was opened.
As is usual with newly constructed roads, the entire bridge was well lit with a number of street lights – this time with solar-powered lights.
Not too surprising, though, all the lights are no longer functioning.
It is as if we have resigned ourselves to lightless streets and drivers always have to perform magic to reach their destinations.
Road markings are also allowed to fade so much that drivers need to be very conversant with the roads to use them. There appears to be total blackout on our roads, which is not good enough.
The Daily Graphic, therefore, calls on the relevant state agencies, especially the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, to ensure that as soon as the bulbs in street lights go off, they are replaced to illuminate all streets and corners all year round.
This way, our street and traffic lights will help make road markings visible to reduce road accidents and make our roads secure and safe.
The Daily Graphic is aware of the commitment of Mr Amoako Atta to the mandate of the Ministry of Roads and Highways and we encourage him to fix the numerous challenges in the road sector, including the deteriorating conditions of our roads.
Already, there are signs that the government has put in place strategies to improve road transportation in the country.
This mandate the Ministry of Roads and Highways must be very familiar with and it cannot afford to fail.