The Ghana Highway Authority appears to have relegated it’s mandated to the backburner as drivers continue to create unapproved and what could be described as dangerous U- turns on the country’s major trunk roads.
A case in point is the Accra- Nsawam dual carriage highway where Public Agenda counted over 31unapproved U- Turns between Dobro and Pokuase, both communities on the stretch.
Observers have noted that these happenings are rife as a result of negligence on the part the Ghana Highway Authority to ensure that the country’s roads are well constructed and safe for use by all.
Though there are legal U-turns on the Highway, drivers complain that they are far apart and thus for their own convenience, they lawlessly created these short cuts.
These U-turns according to commuters are a common cause of multiple vehicle accidents on the road which are mostly not reported to the Police.
“The Ghana Highway Authority and law enforcement agencies must wake up from their slumber and make sure that U-turns that are created illegally are blocked in order to stop the accidents,” Mr Augustine Larbi, a resident of Amasaman said in an interview with Public Agenda.
As part of his civic responsibility, Mr Larbi indicated that he and some other residents of the community have done their best by blocking some of the illegal U-turns with car tyres but new ones are created by recalcitrant drivers’ day- in and day-out making it, difficult for them to control. To this end, he called on the government to step in and ensure that these illegalities are brought to an end.
Many other people who spoke to Public Agenda held that the Authority is reneging on its monitoring roles; otherwise, these U-turns would not have been created at all.
When contacted, the head of Public Relations at the GHA, Diana Siade said the Authority has taken note of the development and is working hard to put a stop to it.
She indicated that there are approved U- turns on the road, adding, “These care citizens breaking the laws; but we are putting measures in place to stop these things.”
She said the authority has received several other complains about such development. She said the Authority will do it bit but the citizens of Ghana should also help to curb this creeping message.
The Mission of GHA is to provide a safe and reliable trunk road network at optimal cost taking advantage of modern technology in road building and new income-generating methods to facilitate socio-economic development in the country.
The U-Turn remains one of the most dangerous driver manoeuvres on roads worldwide. Paramedics respond daily to severe trauma from crashes that could have been prevented had it not been for the hasty decision to make a U-turn in traffic.