Ghanaians, who are generally perceived as having no respect for laws, are for the first time, appearing to be law abiding in respect of the directives aimed at saving lives because of the deadly coronavirus.
Most of the gory accidents on Ghana roads are caused by a total disregard for road traffic and roadworthy regulations.
More than 50% of most vehicles on Ghana roads can at best, be described as scrap material. How these rickety vehicles manage to pass the road worthiness test at the DVLA, is purely down to circumventing the law. No wonder most accidents involving commercial vehicles, mostly arise from break failures, due to lack of the required standard of maintenance and care.
And such scrap material ply the roads and pass through every Police checkpoint without ‘much ado’.
In addition, a total disregard for road traffic regulations, such as speed limits, and respect for pedestrian crossings, is another major cause of accidents leading to needless loss of lives and injuries in Ghana.
Driving on hard shoulders of roads during peak hours, is common on the Accra-Winneba Highway, especially around Budumburam. The Police, who are paid to enforce the law, usually look on unconcerned, allowing lawlessness to take hold.
Okada, which is illegal under the laws of Ghana, is a booming business, with all State agencies responsible for curbing this menace appearing to be overwhelmed.
All the above in one way or the other, usually result in death or injury, but no one cares.
No President has ever asked Ghanaians to devote just a day for prayers, aimed at appealing to God to reduce the rate and devastation of the road traffic accidents in Ghana.
However, with this little virus called coronavirus, that is invisible to the natural eye, has brought out the best in most Ghanaians, regarding adhering to directives, without the need to waste taxpayers money to pay someone in the name of enforcing the said directives.
One student of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), who is at home as a result of the compulsory shutdown of all universities in Ghana, told me on Saturday 21st March, 2020, that the sister is a final year Senior High School (SHS) student, and that due to the suspension of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), the sister was on her way home, and that he was scared of the sister’s arrival. That the sister may bring the virus home. The student concluded that the sister would be quarantined on arrival at home.
No need for the Police to enforce this self quarantine directive by the President.
It is my prayer and hope that, a majority of Ghanaians will learn and put into practice, some bitter lessons from this deadly coronavirus. Maybe, this is Allah’s way of guiding most lawless and ‘I don’t care’ Ghanaians to the straight path, thus becoming law abiding and being generally careful, with or without the presence of the helpless Police.
Alhassan Salifu Bawah
(son of an upright peasant farmer)