Killer drivers deserve the appropriate punishment

The last three days (Friday to Sunday) can be described as a black weekend in the country because ofthe loss of 26 lives, 22 in three separate road accidents and four through murder.

With regard to the murders, on Friday, at 7p.m., 34-year-old Elijah Timenkeh was shot by a security man when some youth from Manso Dome Keniago in the Amansie South District in the Ashanti Region besieged a local mining site, Adubiaho Mining, to prospect for gold.

The following day, 28-year-old Richard Appiah, an architect, was arrested for allegedly murdering two boys, aged 12 and 15 years, and a yet-to-be-identified man whose bodies were found in his living room at Alaska, near Abesim in the Sunyani Municipality.

Concerning the accidents, in the first incident on Friday evening, a Toyota Matiz saloon car ran into a group of pedestrians, said to be people going to church, at Techiman Peposo on the Sunyani-Techiman road in the Bono Region, killing three.

In the second accident, nine passengers, including a six-month-old baby,were on Saturday evening killed at Apedwa on the Eastern regional section of the Accra-Kumasi Highway, when the driver of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter bus they were travelling on from Nkawkaw towards Accra made a wrong overtaking on reaching Apedwa Pig Farm Junction and collided with a Burkina-Faso-bound DAF trailer truck.

In the last one yesterday, 10 passengers died when two buses collided in miscalculated overtakings at Gomoa Mampong, near Okyereko, on the Kasoa-Winneba Highwayin the Central Region.

Cases of murder reported in the country keep rising. For instance, 123 murders were recorded in the first quarters of 2020 and that number rose to 144 the same period this year. Many more such cases have occurred ever since these ones.

The public get stunned on every murder occasion due to the personalities and victims involved, the circumstances and motives leading to these killings, and how such cases are handled.

Whatever the reasons are, they are not grounds for taking the lives of innocent people. For instance, some men kill their partners for their decision to leave the relationship. What a flimsy reason!

It seems a good number of members of the public lack emotional intelligence, so organisations, including the church and the mosque, and the government should organise sessions for the people to learn to handle emotional situations with maturity.

Emotional intelligence, henceforth, could be structured as a school subject and taught at all the levels of the educational system.

Concerning accidents, it is public knowledge that most of them, over 90 per cent, can be attributed to driver misbehaviour.

Drivers in the country are tacitly telling us in the face by their recalcitrance and impunity that the laws that prescribe fines and short prison terms for their misbehaviour are not deterrent enough.

Therefore, the best way is to enact harsh laws against their misbehaviour.  For instance, if investigations confirm driver misbehavior in an accident in which people die; passengers or pedestrians, and the driver survives whether injured or unscathed, he must be charged with manslaughter and given life imprisonment.

In 2020, a total of 1,115 casualties from road crashes were recorded in Ghana, whereas 771 persons died in road crashes from January to March this year alone, meaning we are in for the worse.

The figures make drivers worse killers than murderers and so should be punished accordingly.

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