There is no denying the fact that a number of fatalities are recorded on our roads due to factors such as the blatant disregard for traffic and road safety rules by our drivers, which has gained notoriety and led to many unfortunate accidents.
Evidence of this abound in the data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD). For instance, 2,076 people died in road traffic accidents in 2017.
Many reasons have been adduced for this development, among them the issue of indiscipline on the part of drivers.
Driver indiscipline occurs on almost all roads in Ghana. The practice is worse on major roads, particularly those that are in good shape.
A case in point is the worrying presence of 74 unauthorised U-turns along the Pokuase-Nsawam dual carriageway, which is part of the Accra-Kumasi highway, which has triggered indiscipline on the busy highway and compromised the safety of road users.
During a visit by our news team to that portion of the Accra-Kumasi highway, no less than 74 illegal U-turns were counted between Pokuase and the Nsawam bypass, in spite of the fact that there are 10 authorised U-turns on the same stretch, even if they are far apart.
The Pokuase-Nsawam stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway is noted for driver indiscipline.
As an international road, the highway connects many areas of the country, including the Eastern and the Ashanti regions, as well as northern Ghana and neighbouring countries.
A U-turn in driving refers to performing a 180-degree rotation to reverse the direction of travel. U-turns are strategically positioned on roads by experts to ensure the safety of users of such U-turns and that of other road users.
The Daily Graphic has observed that some of these recalcitrant drivers, in their quest to overtake other commuters in traffic, resort to the use of unapproved U-turns at various parts of the road, without considering the dangers such a practice poses to themselves and others.
This is because other users of the road who are unaware of such U-turns will not be able to take any precautionary measures, which could potentially lead to accidents.
As the authorities, especially the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Road Safety Commission and other agencies, work to reduce the incidence of road crashes in the country, the Daily Graphic believes that the use of unapproved U-turns will certainly defeat this cause.
We, therefore, advise drivers to refrain from this negative act which only goes to undermine efforts to promote safety on our roads, which ultimately leads to many unnecessary deaths.
Let us all follow road user regulations to ensure our own safety and that of other users. If we all observe this basic rule on our roads, they will become safer for us all.
We also call on our law enforcement agencies to, as a matter of urgency, take every necessary step to block all these unapproved U-turns on our roads and punish drivers and persons who create them.
When people are punished for their acts, it serves as