Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, says illegal speed ramps have become nuisance on the roads and it was denying drivers the “smooth” and “comfort” they need to ensure safe driving.
He has consequently charged one of the three technical committees of the ministry, Safety Committee, to undertake safety audit of all speed ramps on the trunk roads for action to be taken.
“They have become a nuisance in our country. People no longer enjoy comfort driving on our trunk roads and it has become problematic and nightmare, particularly to our heavy vehicular drivers such as tanker and articulated truck drivers,” the minister stated at the inauguration of the committees yesterday.
The two other committees were the Committee on Congestion and Classification Committee, and they are all intended to help the ministry address certain bottlenecks in the road sector aimed at “making 2021, as another year of road, very effective to ensure that all of us stay alive and healthy.”
The Safety Committee is to improve safety on national trunk, urban and feeder road networks, while the Classification Committee will review the ministry’s contractor classification system, and Congestion Committee will deal with the congestions in the cities, especially Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi and Cape Coast
According to Mr. Amoako-Atta, the ministry once a while hears of complaint from the drivers through the unions, and he is of the view that the complaint is a “genuine concern” that must be addressed.
“It has become problematic on roads between Accra and Kumasi, Accra-Aflao, Accra-Takoradi, Kumasi-Tamale roads and Accra-Akosombo,” he said, adding “please undertake a special speed ramp audit and advise the ministry accordingly. We are going to take an immediate action to sanitize our roads and remove all unauthorized road ramps from the roads.”
He said it had been established that a very high percentage of road accidents running into the 90s were due to human factor, and “we trust that going forward our drivers, particularly commercial drivers, will listen to all the admonition from the National Road Safety Authority and also respect the enforcement that the police have put in place to reduce road accidents.”
He disclosed that 2020 figures showed 15,000 vehicles were involved in accidents, resulting in more than 2,500 deaths, and wondered why the country should lose such people through needless accidents.
“All of us have a role to play and my ministry has a huge challenge as established by law to provide excellent roads for road users and the traveling public,” he posited, and added that “we have to make sure we provide all necessary road furniture. Road signs and line-markings, crash barriers should be in place.”
The minister, however, said “regrettably, when you put in place road signs by 48 hours they are gone. Some unscrupulous Ghanaians go round and cut all of them and use them as scraps.
“We also equally have unpatriotic people who buy them by commercializing them as scraps. The supposed law-abiding Ghanaians who are themselves not involved will not report when they see such people engaging in those activities.
“We will continue to do our work, whatever it takes. The government will continue to do its work, hoping that things will change in our country.”
The seven-member committee is chaired by Ing. Collins Donkor.
By Ernest Kofi Adu