A police task force has begun a 24-hour operation on the Accra-Tema Motorway to check infractions of road regulations with the view to stemming the spate of road accidents on the highway.

The operation, being undertaken by personnel of the Airport and Tema police, involves the checking of driving beyond permissible speed limits, abandoning of breakdown vehicles on the carriageway, over-loading and carrying loads beyond the permissible heights by trucks, the use of unauthorised accesses linking the motorway and crossing by pedestrians.

In line with the exercise, all unauthorised access roads linking the motorway are to be closed immediately with concrete blocks.

Offenders of road regulations will face prosecution at the Accra Motor Court and that could hand them a fine of at least GHc600 or a prison term or both.

These are a part of urgent measures adopted by key stakeholders in the road sector after an emergency meeting in Accra on Wednesday to halt the spate of road accidents on the motorway, which have led to the death and injury of many people.

As a long-term measure, the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) is assessing the entire corridor of the motorway to provide alternative routes that would not affect traffic.

Furthermore, the GHA would also provide interchanges and speed limit signs on the motorway, adding that the entire stretch of the highway would eventually be fenced.

Subsequently, the authorities intend to replicate the road safety measures on the Mallam-Cape Coast and Accra-Nsawam highways, which have also been noted for fatal accidents over the years.

Following the rapidity of the accidents on the motorway in recent times, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) held an emergency meeting with officials of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (M’ITU) of the Ghana Police Service, the GHA and the Department of Urban Roads (DUR), to assess the situation and recommend immediate and long-term solutions.

Briefing the Daily Graphic on the outcome of the meeting, the Deputy Director of the NRSC in charge of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr David Osafo Adonteng, said it was observed that speeding was a major cause of accidents on the motorway.

Although the speed limit on the motorway is l00km/h, some drivers reportedly traverse the 23 kilometre highway at a speed of 180km/h.

Mr Adonteng Said the improper usage of the motorway whereby slow-moving vehicles used the speed lane instead of the outer lane, had also been a major cause of accidents.

He said henceforth, drivers or owners of broken down trucks and vehicles abandoned on the motorway would be required to tow them away within one hour, failing which the vehicles would be towed to a safer destination at the expense of the driver or owner.

Mr Adonteng said apart from using police towing vehicles, the NRSC has arranged with private vehicle towing service providers to execute that task, adding that before towing, the police would be at every spot of breakdown vehicles to provide the necessary assistance to other motorists so as to avoid accidents.

He further indicated that drivers of broken down vehicles on the motorway would be required to display appropriate warning triangles to alert other motorists about the danger ahead of them.

Mr Adonteng said some trucks also loaded beyond the stipulated height and any time they moved under a bridge, some of their loads fell onto the motorway, posing great danger to vehicles behind them.

The height of bridges on the motorway is 4.5 metres and so the height of loads of trucks is not expected to be beyond four metres.

Mr Adonteng said with immediate effect, long trucks would be required to have reflective tapes around the vehicles to make them more visible to other motorists at night.

He said the NRSC will back the exercise with public education on road safety issues on the motorway and asked for the co-operation of motorists and the support of the general public during the exercise to ensure its success.

Source: Daily Graphic

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