The mess on the road must cease!!!

Nine students of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) have been reported killed in a road accident at Asuboi in the Eastern Region yesterday dawn.

The students were on a Hyundai Universe commercial bus from Sunyani to Accra en route to Winneba.

Twenty-two other persons were injured and are reported to be in critical conditions at the hospital.

The fatal accident occurred at Asuboi, a community along the Accra-Kumasi Highway in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region.

The accident as gathered involved a Hyundai Universe commercial bus with registration number AK 324-22 and a truck carrying a 40-footer container loaded with wood.

The driver of the bus, who was alleged to be sleeping, failed to observe traffic ahead of him as a result of which he crashed into a 40-footer container loaded with wood which had partially fallen on the road as a result of a previous accident.

Confirming the incident to the Ghanaian Times, The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Unit has confirmed the occurrence of the accident stating that it happened at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

The Ghanaian Times, first and foremost, wishes to express sympathies to the bereaved families; we share in their pains.

The paper accepts that it is difficult to experience such loss but they should not allow it to bring their world to an end.

The Ghanaian Times wishes to describe the Asuboi accident a national tragedy because for Ghana to have the lives of its nine citizens cut short in a road crash that could have been avoided is rather more than tragic.

Besides, even though the departed souls are yet to be identified, the fact that they were students can be used to conclude that these were budding lives that held immeasurable promise for the nation by way of  the knowledge and skills they would have acquired for the benefits of their individual lives, their families and, above all, national development.

Generally, there are causes of accidents and every accident may be due to one or a number of them.

That said, it can be stated that a critical look at the causes tells that except the technical ones like tyre burst, lock of the steering wheel and brake issues, the rest such as over speeding, driver exhaustion, and refusal to observe road signs and traffic regulations can be tamed because they border on human behaviour.

An analysis of the Asuboi tragedy shows that it resulted from human factors that cannot be blamed only on the drivers of the bus and the truck carrying the 40-footer container but also the police and the passengers or whoever saw the KIA Universe driver sleeping but did not stop him to stem the danger ahead.

If it is true that the driver was sleeping, why didn’t those who saw him sleeping caution him?

Maybe they did, but the usual disrespectful and peremptory nature of most Ghanaian drivers made the driver in question to ignore everyone else’s view and stick to his ‘wisdom’ and the result is the national tragedy now.

This paper is tempted to blame the police because even if the driver of the truck carrying the 40-footer container did not report the accident involving his vehicle to them, they cannot deny knowledge of that accident unless they can prove that beyond doubt.

The Ghanaian Times would not stop referring to drivers’ misbehaviour and the negligence or lack of vigilance on the part of the police as the topmost causes of road accidents.

It cannot be ruled out either that it seems the law dealing with the driver’s offences is not deterrent enough to scare them from being a law to themselves, particularly when it comes to passengers trying to check them.

The whole system relating to driving or road use in general, including police road check, road safety education, the law and other related matters must be overhauled.

Maybe, change would result to, at least, reduce the carnage on the road even if it cannot be eradicated.

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