We panicked when we heard reports that two Ghanaian legislators were involved in a near-fatal road accident on the Kumasi-Accra road over the weekend. Subsequent reports that they escaped unhurt calmed us down.
As a newspaper we receive reposts of such accidents very often and in many cases, it they are fatal.
Two critical observations that we have made over the years are there: most of such road accidents are caused by sheer disobedience of laid down road and traffic regulations and the fact that such road accidents become headline news mostly when they involve a high profile personality as was the case of what was reported over the weekend.
When there are no high profile persons involved, it becomes headline news only when the death toll is high and a clear massacre of innocent passengers by the absolute recklessness of one idiotic driver.
As a country, we have behaved as if the road and traffic regulations were made just for them to be broken at will.
Unfortunately the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD), a complete department under the Ghana Police Service specifically responsible for road safety in Ghana has too many bad nuts who have no shame in collecting bribes from reckless motorists and then allowing wrong to continue in broad daylight.
These days, motorists who break road and traffic regulations are not scared anymore. They have become emboldened by the knowledge that the MTTD official that may see the irregularity would MOST likely be compromised by just a few crisp currency notes.
We hypocritically pretend this is not happening. But the stooping low of most MTTD officials to collect bribes from motorists who flout road and traffic regulations has been a major amplifier of the wild tune to which drivers are engaged in a free-for-all dance of macabre.
These days, one does not only need to carry along a valid driver’s license to drive. Money to bribe bad police officers has become an essential item to also pick along if one really wants to avoid all forms of delays and bullying.
We have read that the Police has commenced official investigations into what exactly caused the near-fatal accident that nearly killed two members of Parliament Saturday morning.
We hope and pray the investigations are swift and strict so as to allow the law deal with those found culpable of wrong doing.
But we also hope and pray same swift and strict investigations would be done into the several other road accidents that does not involve high profile personalities.
After all, every life matters.