I return to my campaign for safe driving by sharing the law on road traffic offences. Christmas approaches and sadly, just too many people are doomed to needless deaths and injury on our highways.
But most of the accidents are avoidable because 90 per cent is attributable to human error. The distraction by the handset and other hand-held communication devices are contributing a great deal to the carnage.
Between January-September 2021, 2126 people were killed on Ghana’s roads, and this is the number that made it into the official report. The Ghana Medical Journal notes that households spend an average of $1687.65 in direct and indirect costs on severe injuries associated with these road accidents, and the injuries recorded so far stand at 11,659.
It does the simple math of multiplying this figure by the average $1687.65 for the nine months to show the affected families have spent as much as $19,676,311.35 on the injuries suffered. The country is said to spend 1.6% of its GDP solving road traffic injuries.
Driving while making a call, picking a call, texting, and dealing with a hand-held communication device is prohibited by regulation 107 of the Road Traffic Regulations 2021 (L.I. 2180). It punishes the conduct by a fine of up ¢600 or up to three months in jail or both the fine and prison term.
On the 27th of October 2020, we upgraded the punishment for offering or accepting a bribe. This means if you attempt to offer a bribe when caught, you are putting yourself in the way of potentially going to prison for a minimum of twelve years and a maximum of twenty-five.
The giver and take are both guilty of the offence. Just drop that handset to save your life and those of others. You are permitted to make a call only when it is to an emergency service or the police when stopping to do so is impractical.
It is only the emergency services like the fire service and the police who are allowed by the law to operate their hand-held communication devices while driving. But if you get caught, try to go through the process in court and don’t pay a bribe even if you will not be caught.
Let’s build the country we desire.
Samson Lardy ANYENINI
November 14, 2021.
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