The Fellows Guild of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Ghana (FCILT) said road and transport projects in the country must be developed with the view of enhancing safe movement of people and not necessarily vehicles since the lives of pedestrians must be the focus in any road planning and construction.
According to the Guild, the deaths of pedestrians in the country especially the Capital city of Accra during the past few weeks is alarming and that government needs to take measures to save the situation.
In a statement issued by the Fellows of CILT Ghana, they indicated that the needless pedestrian deaths could have been avoided had the agencies responsible took more proactive measures arresting the situation.
Making reference to the death of the female student, and many other people who lost their lives on the Madina-Adenta Highway including a first-year female student of West Africa Senior High School (WASS), the Guild expressed dissatisfaction that none of the footbridges along that Highway has been completed even after several years of the construction.
“This situation has made it unsafe for pedestrians to cross the multiple-lane highway. It is expected that footbridges, which form the integral part of safety of pedestrians, must be constructed before the commissioning of any highway, especially if such highway passes through urban communities,” the CILT Ghana Fellows Guild stated.
The members of the Guild also indicated that the expectation now is for government has decided to act swiftly in completing the footbridges to help forestall these preventable deaths.
Making some recommendations to government on how to save these unfortunate situations, the Guild said government should impose and enforce specific speed limits on that stretch of the road and also construct appropriate speed control measures on the long-stretch of road to reduce the unnecessary over speeding of drivers.
The Guild also noted that all faulty traffic lights should be repaired with modern solar-powered lights whilst efforts must be made to provide extra traffic lights with toucan crossing system to allow free flow of traffic as the immediate measures.
It Aldo called for the intensification of road safety education by extended to the public including motorcyclists on the use of the road and their roles and responsibilities by the National Road Safety Commission.
“The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service must enforce the road safety laws and regulations and should be on duty at all times to control the traffic situation, especially during ‘rush-hours’ till all works are completed,” it said.
For the Medium Term and Long Term measures, the Guild is calling on the Ministry of Transport to ensure that the regulation on all commercial road transport buses having exit/emergency doors is well-enforced. This, it said, will enable easy access by emergency and extrication teams to crash victims as well as easy access to crash victims themselves to get out of vehicles in the event of a crash and help reduce fatalities.
It also suggested training for road transport union executives, management and front-line officers of road transport operating companies and other vehicle owners on general road safety management, and called on the DVLA to put in measure to ensure that vehicles without roadworthy certification are not be allowed to operate.
“There is the urgent need for the government to act on the precarious situation of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) for which about 45 vehicles are in operable condition as at November 2018. The fleet, which has reached its operational effectiveness and efficiency should be totally replaced and further increase its numbers to help respond to victims of road crashes and other emergencies. To ensure effective operational management, deployment and response of ambulances and emergency care, the government can consider other digital options in hailing their services as operated by Uber, Taxify and other similar services,” it stated.
The Guild also stressed the establishment of a road transport authority to regulate the sector, and appealed to government to speed-up the process of establishing a Road Transport Regulatory Body to help bring general sanity to the country’s road transport sub-sector as we have in the aviation, maritime and railways.
The Guild also called on pedestrians crossing at wrong sections of the road using pedestrian crossings and footbridges, must be more careful so as to avoid such fatalities.
The Fellows Guild of CILT Ghana however sent their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the pedestrians who lost their lives crossing the highways.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA