Road transport is a very important sector of the economy as it is within it that goods and passengers (services) are moved from place to another.
This is a sector within which safety must be taken seriously because human lives are key here, yet most drivers disregard all road safety measures and rather do the opposite of over-loading, speeding, wrong overtaking, non-maintenance of their vehicles, drink-driving, fatigue driving and jumping the red light.
It must be noted that there are other problems that threaten the lives of drivers, mates and passengers that do not emanate from drivers but elsewhere such as highway robbery, extortion and delay by some police personnel and bad road engineering.
These problems on the road should concern all stakeholders in road safety which include, the police, drivers, their supervisors and vehicle owners.
That is why the Ghanaian Times commends the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, and his team for making engagements with drivers and their supervisors a feature of his administration.
Barely a week ago, the IGP and his team were in Takoradi, the capital of the Western Region, to interact with commercial drivers and their supervisors over matters of concern to drivers and to other stakeholders.
Yesterday, the team met drivers and their supervisors at the Neoplan Station in Accra.
Their discussions centred on the problems encountered on the road, the need for the police to strictly enforce road safety with the collaboration of drivers and the need for the drivers to avoid falling foul of the road safety law.
This paper appeals to the IGP and his team to leave a mark by helping to reduce drastically the carnage on roads because the lives lost and maimed, as well as the goods destroyed in road crashes are valueless and a drain on economic development.
It seems commercial drivers do not recognize that they provide invaluable service to support national development.
Without mincing words, we can say that it most often becomes difficult to understand the psychology of drivers because they do what is unexpected of them – speeding, drink-driving, wrong overtaking and non-maintenance of vehicles, all of which cause accidents.
However, whoever dares to issue any caution to them suffer all manner of humiliation, at the hands of drivers and their mates, including insults and attempts to drop the ‘erring’ passenger on the way.
Some drivers enslave and gag passengers and these must be brought to the public domain with the help of passengers, so in their road checks the police should ask passengers about the attitudes of drivers and their mates towards passengers and how careful or careless they have been on the road.
Passengers can play a crucial role in road safety as they can be the eyes of the police where they are not present.
Mr IGP, sustain the driver engagement and education to ensure road safety in the country all the time, not only on festive occasions like Christmas.