Dealing with agents of death on our roads

BY: Doreen Hammond
Library photo
Library photo

Yaro Kankani had a passion for professional driving.

At a young age he always dreamt of being behind the steering wheel of an articulated truck.

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It was therefore not surprising that he left school at class six to pursue his dream.

He trained as an ‘aplanke’ (driver’s mate) with an established driver and after 10 years, he obtained a professional licence and was handed a truck.

Ten months into his driving career, he was carting tomatoes from Akumadan to Accra. After Offinso, his eyes became heavy and he started yawning ceaselessly.


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He applied the usual cola nut and chewing stick therapy his boss had taught him and even stopped to wash his face to no avail.

He does not recall seeing Kumasi but woke up with a bandaged arm at a hospital in Konongo.

He was told he ran into a stationary vehicle, killing four people on board and injuring several others.

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The police came with their usual enquiries. How in God’s name was he supposed to help them put the pieces together when he did not recall what happened?

After he recuperated, he took his licence and relocated to Kumasi where he got another truck.

This time he was carting rice from the port to the north.

Then he recorded his second major accident after Suhum when in trying to avoid running into a slow taxicab he had a head-on collision with a bus loaded with passengers.

Nine souls were lost that day with others maimed for life.

To draw sympathy to himself he remained on crutches for a while until the hue and cry died down.

The police concluded their investigations and he was fined by the court for dangerous driving.

Taking a cue from Amakye Dede’s song which advises that since there are several towns, one does not have to remain in one town to be disgraced, he moved on.

With a licence now showing over 10 years of driving experience, he moved to Sunyani and now carts cocoa from the hinterland to the ports.

Of course there was no way his new employer would have known that he was employing a potential killer.

His accident record did not reflect on his licence.

So far, it had been good until recently when he ran into a group of schoolchildren.

Thankfully only three died but it could have been worse.

He claimed the accident was due to brake failure.

The usual police investigations took place and the case was brought to closure.

After all was he the brakes?

Yaro’s case is not different from Kwasi T3tr3t3.

Kwasi is a bus driver and counts about 10 accidents, both fatal and minor.

His casualty figures are nine killed and 23 injured and three maimed for life.

Such killer drivers are many on our roads.

Day in and day out defensive drivers grapple with such reckless drivers who should not be holding licences at all, not to talk of sitting behind the wheels.

There are no mechanisms in place to track such accident prone drivers and if possible let them change trade to avoid the senseless killings on our roads.  

How about a point system as happens in some countries where some points are taken from the licence of offending drivers until they get to a certain number where they are not allowed to drive for some time or ever again?

It is true that drivers may not have the intention to kill but how about a driver such as Yaro Kankani who has proved to be incapable of driving safely on our roads?

Should there not be stiffer punishments to such drivers to serve as a deterrent?

Recently, some members of my family nearly lost their lives when an irresponsible and reckless driver jumped the red light in front of the Jubilee house and rammed the side of my car.

Regrettably, nothing much happened to the reckless driver and he is on the road again.

Human life is precious and every effort must be made to protect it.

If it means grounding some of these professional killers and agents of death to make our roads safer, so be it.

The senseless killings on our roads must stop. Enough is enough!

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