As part of measures to control road traffic congestion within the cities, the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service is set to deploy more personnel, increase patrols as well as institute other traffic control technics.
According to the MTTD, there is the need to scale-up its operation due to the inflow of people and vehicles emanating from the yuletide and The Year of Return.
It has become a norm that most cities experience vehicular traffic congestion during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
This year’s situation is likely to worsen due to the influx of foreigners.
Speaking to Citi News, Head of Education Research and Training at the MTTD, Superintendent Alexander Obeng said detailed traffic management plans have been circulated from the headquarters to the regional commands for implementation.
“We’ll use the sheer police presence which we will not hide from the general public. Therefore, we are going to increase our strength and you’ll see a lot of police officers patrolling both on foot, and in cars. And in terms of traffic, you’ll see most of our police urbanized jurisdictional traffic junctions saturated with traffic officers because we are aware that in times like this, the traffic stream would heighten.”
“There would be more unusual road users exposed to the road environment in addition to the routine one. We expect high vehicular and human traffic and there will be high economic and commercial activities in town and city centres,” he noted.
On their part, as part of activities to ensure safety on the road ahead of and during the festive season, the Regional Road Safety Authority in the Northern Region, with other relevant stakeholders will begin public sensitization at lorry stations and churches.
In an interview with Citi News, the Northern Regional Director for the Road Safety Authority Alexander Ayata said they are doing all they can to educate the people in the region about the need to drive safely to prevent road crashes.
“We have our information van that has speakers on them. We are going to get the information service to join us and we are going to lorry parks and the streets. You’ll hear the Road Safety Authority everywhere. And we need the media on this because they can even do it better. At times they’ll even speak of it when we are not there. So we will put all hands on deck and together, we can arrive alive,” he noted.
However, the Authority has expressed worry about the increasing level of indiscipline in the region and has called on the MTTD to enforce the laws by arresting and punishing offenders.
According to them, though there has been a decrease in road accident deaths this year as compared to last year, there is still a significant increase in road accidents.
Still speaking to Citi News, Mr Ayata bemoaned the spate at which human lives are perishing in road accidents, despite intense public education.
He said: “For this country to grow, practically we have to be alive and one of the most important factors that are confronting this nation is indiscipline on our roads. There is no war in this country and may God forbid that. Yet anytime the year ends, only road traffic crashes are taking over 2,000 people of this nation.”
“[The MMTD must] enforce the law by educating the people. Tell them to check their licenses, if their tyres are not good, they should go and fix it. Take note of that driver. You must arrest and prosecute the person no matter who he or she is. When these do these two things, the numbers will come down,” he exclaimed.
Also in the fight against road accidents, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has assured residents in the region that adequate arrangements have been made to fight crime ahead of the Christmas and New Year seasons.
Launching the Ashanti Region’s version of ‘Operation Father Christmas’, Regional Police Commander, COP Akwasi Mensah Duku, stated that his outfit has intensified police patrols at strategic points.
He also entreated the general public to volunteer information on persons behaving suspiciously within their communities.
“It is our responsibility and resolve as a police service to protect the public against such miscreants who are out there to terrorize unsuspecting law-abiding citizens. To achieve this successfully, the Regional Police Command has drawn officers from the various police divisions, districts and units to augment the strength of police officer in the metropolis to ensure effective patrols and other security arrangements before, during and after the Christmas and the New Year Celebrations.”