The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has disclosed that it had made available some safety proposals to the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) to help in the construction of the George Walker Bush Highway but all were ignored.
Reacting to TV3’s road safety documentary titled ‘Dangerous Highway’, the Executive Director of the Commission, Ing. May Obiri-Yaboah, said, “At one point during construction we talked about it and one point we came in with some of this auditing, and to be frank some of the things that we said or we proposed never came to pass. It was not considered”.
According to her, a highway like the George Walker Bush highway, which passes through urban communities, ought to have separate grades for vehicles and pedestrians, the absence of which is fatal.
“So one would have thought [that] even if we wanted to have a highway through the urban areas then we have to consider pedestrians so that we separate grades where pedestrians would pass and where the vehicles would be because once they are on the same level we expect people to die,” she explained.
She said the positioning of the footbridges on the highway was not the best and that compelled them to want to make some contributions due to the looming danger they foresaw.
“From the beginning we were not part of it. It was later when we started talking about it that we needed to be part of it because from what was happening we could see from afar that something definitely would come out of it and that people will die so we came in the latter part of it and the bridges had already been done, no ramps had been provided for the disable or the physically challenged”.
Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency and a Ranking Member on Roads and Highways Committee of Parliament Kwame Agbodza, who was also reacting to the 30-minute documentary, commended TV3 for the documentary and attributed the situation on the ‘Dangerous Highway’ to what he calls “design defect”.
“There was a design defect. Was this design made such that these things could have been taken care of? I doubt if that was part of it,” he quizzed rhetorically.
He said even though the sector minister had been directed by the Speaker of Parliament to act on the issue, he still thinks that “we have had enough talking” and that there should be an immediate action considering the number of lives that have been lost.
Meanwhile, DSP Alexander Obeng of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service maintains that the recommendations of the audit report on the highway must be implemented to enhance safety on the road.
‘Dangerous Highway’ is a comprehensive road safety documentary by TV3’s award-winning journalist Portia Gabor. It explores happenings on the George Walker Bush highway also known as the N1 highway six years after it was opened to the public.
The documentary shows “gory” statistics with over 300 lives lost within six years.
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