Bring sanity to the roads

BY: Daily Graphic
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu

Ghana has been cited as a country with some of the finest laws. What is worrying is the disregard for those fine laws, to the extent that we seem to live in a jungle where survival is the fittest.

People never want to wait for their turn but jump queues to satisfy their wants first, at the expense of others. We have gradually become a country where everybody wants to cut corners, cheat the system and take advantage of others to succeed.

Interestingly, even these days when many public institutions have made the services they render and the processes available, citizens disregard the rules and abandon procedures for shorter routes to get what they want. And, as has become usual, some unscrupulous persons in the system are always available to connive with such people to perpetrate their illegalities.

One lawless act that cannot go without comment is the penchant for some motorists to put on their hazard lights and sirens or hoot their horns, disturbing and forcing their way through traffic as if others are not in a hurry.

Sadly, citizens and even policemen on traffic duties look on helplessly and painfully, not doing anything about the canker. In the circumstance, people who patiently follow traffic are left wondering whether being law-abiding is worth anything at all.

Yesterday, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, together with the Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Mr Kwasi Agyeman Busia, launched a campaign against the unlawful use of sirens and the hooting of horns, with an assurance to the public that henceforth the law against the practice was going to be enforced to the letter and perpetrators sent to court.

The Daily Graphic recalls that this is not he first time this exercise has been rolled out.

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However, we would want to believe that this time around the police mean business.

But we shudder to ask how prepared they are to carry out this task. We ask because on many occasions policemen on traffic duties are either unwilling or ill-prepared to apprehend these miscreants.

At times this act is perpetrated by some happy-go-lucky security persons in taxis and private cars who obviously have no official duty to perform.

Again, are our policemen emboldened enough to arrest so-called ‘big men’ such as powerful chiefs, politicians or clergymen without interference from higher powers? We ask because it is such intrusions that dampen the spirit of hardworking policemen as they carry out their good works.

This disregard for traffic rules and regulations has led to numerous avoidable accidents, resulting in loss of lives, injuries, some of which are permanent, and damage to vehicles belonging to law-abiding motorists.

In worst-case scenarios where survival becomes the fittest, law-abiding citizens are compelled to join in that act and this results in total chaos.

The Daily Graphic is glad that this move is being made at this time and entreats the IGP and his men to also take interest in the latest craze where long processions of youth are seen in a convoy of motorbikes acting as an escort for a supposed ‘big man’ or a corpse, holding every road user to ransom.

We are happy that the DVLA is involved to ensure that before roadworthiness certificates are renewed or issued to vehicles, such unauthorised sirens are removed from them.

But the major work rests on the police, since vehicles go to the DVLA at times once in a year, while these sirens can be installed hours after vehicles have passed roadworthy tests.