Islamic School Demonstration: Road Matters Arising- Hon Ing. Kobby Amoa-Mensah

The purpose of this discourse is to raise awareness on major issues that have perenialy been overlooked. These issues if not addressed with immedi

Consultation is the way forward to transform the Sunyani Municipality- MCE
SEE YOUR APPOINTMENT AS A PRIVILEGE TO REPRESENT THE PRESIDENT IN YOUR AREA – AHAFO REGIONAL MINISTER CHARGES MMDCES
Tano South Municipal Assembly holds general assembly meeting

The purpose of this discourse is to raise awareness on major issues that have perenialy been overlooked. These issues if not addressed with immediate attention will have dire irreparable ramifications on our beloved country.

As of the 7th of May, our team had come up with a comprehensive thesis which looked at the challenges of road safety in our country and dissection of various solution options to curtail this menace which statistitically is showing to take more lives than COVID 19. The celebration of the UN road safety week across the globe in the middle of May and ending on the 17th May 2022, passed with little or no attention.

This observation clearly sent a strong message to our team that road safety does not seem to be a priority in this country regardless of its devastating impacts on Ghanaian lives.

The focus of a new Road Safety Campaign was thus birthed in the month of May this year. Our theme: Safe Streets, Safe Speeds, Save Souls.

It is obvious our streets are not safe. This can be attributed to the gross indiscipline on our streets culminating essentially from adhoc citing of informal commercial land-use types, whose resultant trip generation types per modal splits create chaos on our roads. In this case, it can clearly be stated that such commercial activities on our streets are making our roads unsafe. The question remains to be answered as to who is to solve this very solvable problem. In one view, the onus lies with local government authorities to enforce planning laws which will surely eradicate the road risk factor elements on our streets arising from these indiscriminately cited land use types ie kiosks, containers et al.

If the people are breaking the rules, enforcement is key to solve this problem. The question remains if there is political will because, the conventional mantra has been ‘we will not vote for you’. Is this why this problem remains? Are we ready to solve our problems?

Secondly we need to look at the perception of the heirarchy of the road user in our country. According my research carried out in 2012 amongst 500 school children in Urban ( Accra) and rural Ghana ( Ahafo Kukuom), there is a strong perception that substantiates bullying of road users defined by relative size of the road user to the contextual user being interacted with at a point in time on the road. Simply put, vulnerability increases in this order on our roads: Heavy Goods Vehicles; light goods Vehicles; Four Wheel Drives; Private cars; trotros; taxis; motorcycles; tricycles; tuktuks; bicycles and; pedestrians.

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable when interacting with any of the road users above. School Children form a constituency of vulnerable pedestrians who need specific measures to ensure their safety.

Unregulated High speeds especially in urban areas is a major cause of Road accidents. The propensity to experience higher speeds on down hill movements is well established. Is this the case within the precincts of Islamic Secondary School

The need therefore to implement road safety engineering measures are therefore deemed paramount near schools in general.

Is there any policy in this country to ensure that schools in this country have road signs showing that there is a road ahead? What about a 30kmph speed limit near schools. How many zebra crossings are identifiable around Schools? Do we have Safe School zones to save the lives of our students.

It is a combination of the absence of these road safety engineering measures coupled with the presence of attendant safety risks (and others) that have inevitably led to road accidents within the precincts of Islamic Secondary School.

What is the way forward?
It is proposed that there should be road safety audits carried out around all schools in this country. It is obvious, it may not be financially feasible to tackle all schools. A phased approach based on preliminary study defining highest priority schools could be tackled first. This should lead to the implementation of road safety measures creating safer streets, safer speeds to save souls of vulnerable school children amongst other pedestrians.

It remains to be seen if schools will be required to have Road Safety Audits carried out within their precincts before being allowed to operate.

This can be done progressively with a strategy hinged on providing safe school zones for all.

The Road Safety Authority and Ghana Education Service have an opportunity to think out of the box and work with local authorities to precipitate sustainable solutions derived from partial internally generated funds from schools, corporate bodies etc to support these safety schemes within the context of the law.

By Hon Ing. Kobby Amoa-Mensah
0542754453

The writer is a Road Safety Auditor Consultant with 19 years experience as a civil engineer and a professional member of Chartered Institute of Highways Engineers, Institution of Highways Engineers(Uk), Engineers Ireland, Founder of AMEND Foundation and 2020 NPP Parliamentary Candidate, Asunafo South Constituency.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0
Skip to toolbar