The damage done cannot be undone for the lives lost can never be replaced. That’s why in such dark moments, we should reflect not just on the sorrowful incident, but also what caused us sorrow, and move swiftly to address the situation.
Road accidents have become commonplace and there are numerous causes. This is the second time in less than two months that The Standard has written an editorial on it. What the police spokesperson told us in an interview, as published in our Monday 18 May edition, is that most road accidents results from ‘drink driving, over-speeding and lack of maintenance of vehicles’.
This paper cannot agree more with the police. One needs not to conduct a test on the drivers to discover that the use and abuse of intoxicants is quite prevalent among drivers. Even a fleeting look at the behaviours of some of the drivers plying the roads would suggest that they’re under the influence of intoxicants.
And, with drink driving comes over-speeding though not all cases of over-speeding result from drink driving. Over-speeding is a habit particularly common among young people with a natural tendency of exuberance. In fact, it seems to be a fashionable thing within the urban areas now. Adding insult to injury is the poor conditions of the vehicles. They are simply unfit to ply the roads.
Each of the three situations calls for more sensitisation of the public by relevant authorities. Besides, law enforcement officials need to buckle up and the government should invest more resources in both upping the skills of the police and equipping the traffic police unit with improved technologies to efficiently deliver. Our police force has a major role to play in ridding our roads of avoidable car crashes. They have been vested with the powers to regulate road traffic.
However, it’s apparent that much remains to be desired. So, unless the police step up and command the roads, our roads will remain deadly. In fact, the police PRO has confirmed road accidents have become common occurrence. This alone I think, should be an alarm bell for all the authorities concerned.
Besides drink driving, over-speeding and unfit cars, the conditions of the roads also do contribute to the accidents on the roads. Looking at the roads especially in the hinterlands, the roads are filled with potholes and bumps. The dilapidated state of the roads no doubt increases the chances of accidents. The government has been trying to make roads accessible and safe. There’s a need to do more. A proper and safe road only means that there will be more lives saved and also help in enhancing national development process.
The National Roads Authority should also double up its efforts in creating roads that are wide and spacious. Many times the small roads play a role in the car collisions. The NRA must also increase sensitisation on the relevance of road signs as these help in guiding drivers and pedestrians.
Again, as we mourn the loss of those young lives, let’s pray for them to rest in peace.