Charge irresponsible drivers who cause accidents with manslaughter – Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings is angry over the growing indiscipline on the country’s roads leading to the loss of many lives through accidents.
He has therefore suggested that drivers through whose action such irresponsible accidents occur must be charged with manslaughter in order to help make the country's roads safer.
“In most countries, people will be charged for manslaughter. This is manslaughter. Why do we allow drivers to get away with it?” he questioned.
He warned that if proactive measures are not taken to nib the growing indiscipline on “our roads” early in its bud, many lives would perish through road accidents in the next three to four years to come in the country.
According to him, in spite of the fact that the country continues to improve its road infrastructure, many deadly accidents continue to occur on our roads as a result of indiscipline on the part of the drivers, noting that in the past that the country did not have good roads, there was not much accidents on our roads.
The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader was speaking at this year’s June 4 revolution commemoration held at the Madina Social Welfare Street in Accra Monday.
“There is something extremely dangerous happening in our country and if we do not make the extraordinary effort to curtail it; contain it and equip the police to deal with this matter, things will be much worse for us in the next three, four, five years,” he said, adding “I am talking about the irresponsible behaviour on our roads”.
He expressed anger that the country’s roads have become so dangerous to the extent that when people board vehicles, it appears they have bought their death tickets.
“Look at the number of people who join buses from one area to another destination, is like buying their ticket to death,” Mr Rawlings said, noting that “this is not good enough, our roads will become too dangerous to ply on in two years from now, three years from now, if we don’t make the efforts to make our roads safer”.
According to him, the so-called accidents in the country are not accidents and that such incidents occur as a result of the irresponsible behaviours of the drivers.
“I keep saying that these things are actually not accidents, but some of us are not getting the message,” he explained, saying “a lot of these incidents we call accidents, are not accidents, they are irresponsible behaviour.
He has, therefore, called on the citizenry to report such reckless drivers to the appropriate authorities so that they could be dealt with.
“I am making an appeal to report them (drivers) so that they can be dealt with so that our roads can become safer,” pointing out “I apply our roads very often and I see the misbehavior and the result very often.
June 4 is the day a section of the Ghana Armed Forces led by Flt Lt Rawlings staged a revolt against oppression and corruption in the country in 1979.
Flt Lt Rawlings led a group of junior officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces in an uprising against the then Supreme Military Council (SMC II) regime led by General F.W.K. Akuffo.
The move was motivated by a desire to stem the scourge of corruption that had engulfed the country at all levels and had led to a virtual breakdown of the economy.
Three months later, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), led by Flt Lt Rawlings, handed over power to an elected government.