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Wire mesh fencing on highways destroyed as pedestrians abandon footbridges

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
• A portion of the wire mesh fencing at Mallam-Junction pulled down

Pedestrians have destroyed large portions of the wire mesh fencing erected along some highways in Accra to make it easy for them to cross the roads, instead of using the designated zebra crossings and footbridges.

As a means to avoid conflict between vehicles and pedestrians, wire mesh fencing is often used to direct pedestrians to preferred formal and safer crossing points, as well as discourage them from crossing the road at dangerous points.

However, on some of the roads in Accra, certain individuals have destroyed this fencing to enable them to cross the roads randomly, thus putting their lives in danger.

Situation on some highways

When the Daily Graphic visited the Mallam Junction-Lapaz-Abeka, Awoshie, Abofu and the Tetteh-Quarshie-Madina highways, it observed that most of the fencing along the routes had been removed, while parts of the barricades that had been erected had also been destroyed.

Under the circumstance, pedestrians cross the roads haphazardly, while the footbridges constructed along the highways for their safety lie idle, for the most part.

In fact, in their bid to cross over to the opposite sides of the road, some pedestrians were seen jumping over the barricades, putting their lives and those of other road users in danger.

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (LI 154) states: “A pedestrian who fails to use the footbridge or underpass where one is provided commits an offence.

“A person who contravenes this regulation is liable to, on summary conviction, a fine not more than five penalty units or a term of imprisonment not more than seven days or both”.

However, because perpetrators are hardly apprehended and prosecuted, the practice persists.

Reason

A trader at Lapaz, Georgina Asare, said it took her 15 minutes to walk to the nearest footbridge from where she sold her things, but far less when she  had to dash quickly across the road to her destination.

“I don’t know how this fencing got destroyed, but road crossing has now been made easier for us. We know it is very risky hurrying across the busy road, but the footbridge is far away,” she said.

A mechanic at Lapaz, Mr Samuel Duodu, said the illegal road crossings had resulted in many people being knocked down by vehicles, yet people continued to risk their lives by not using the footbridges.

“I have witnessed many knockdowns and because of that I’ve resorted to using the footbridges, regardless of how long it takes me to reach them.

“Because drivers know there are footbridges and no zebra crossings, they speed a lot and this makes it very risky to cross the road at random,” he said.