Who is in charge of our traffic lights?

Author: Daily Graphic
Who is in charge of  our traffic lights?

We have had to return to the issue of road safety in view of the carnage on our roads.

National figures indicate that over the last three years, about 6,000 people have been killed in road accidents involving about 3,500 vehicles.

Statistics show that a great number of these 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.

That has been the situation on all major roads across the country — street lights mounted as part of the road projects have become white elephants.

We note that all electricity consumers are charged for street lights every month and so we are chagrined that motorists have to contend with clear and present danger on pitch black roads at night.

We ask: where does all the money paid for street lights go? Also, who is in charge of the maintenance of our street lights which have now been reduced to mere decorations along our roads and streets?

Street lights are very essential as far as road safety is concerned, which is why we dutifully pay for them every month.

However, we believe that if the money charged monthly is not being used judiciously, then the utility companies have no business billing the citizenry.

Elsewhere, as soon as the bulbs in street lights go off, they are replaced and they illuminate all streets and corners all year round.

But for us, 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 so that drivers need to be very conversant with the roads to use them.

Many accidents have been caused due to poor visibility on our roads and we urge the government and responsible agencies to live up to the task .

The Accra-Tema Motorway, the Spintex Road, the N1 Highway and other major roads in Accra are just a few examples of poorly lit busy roads that always claim lives as a result of poor visibility.

Not too long ago, many communities along the major roads in the country benefitted from solar street lights, but we dare say that many are not functioning now, as if there is a conspiracy to rid the country’s streets of lights.

Apart from making driving safer, street lights also prevent miscreants such as armed robbers, pickpockets and others with wicked and evil intentions from carrying out their nefarious activities, thereby ensuring security in neighbourhoods and residential areas.

Traffic lights are meant to organise the flow of traffic and so the minute they cease to function, especially at major intersections, there is not only chaos but road crashes as well.

Our street and traffic lights should work again and road markings must be eligible at all times to ensure safe driving. There should be no compromise.