Last Friday, I was on my way to Lapaz from Central University (Miotso Campus) when I came across a Sprinter bus that had collided into a Taxi earlier on the Tema motorway. The accident had happened several hours before I got there, but from the state of the cars, you could deduce that people were wounded and some might have probably died. This got me thinking about the causes of the several motor accidents on our roads in Ghana. Among all the causes I was able to find out through my research, almost ninety percent of them had got to do with carelessness and the incompetence of commercial drivers in Ghana. It makes you wonder how these drivers manage to get their drivers licenses in the first place.
As I pondered on how we as a people can help fix this phenomenon, a thought made its way to me. One that I think if we adopt as a people, we can drastically reduce motor accidents in Ghana, if not completely eradicate them.
Imagine if the government took over the running and operation of commercial buses in the country and absorbed competent commercial bus drivers into their employ; leaving private individuals to operate taxis and ‘Ubers’ and thus making sure that individuals who obtain licenses to operate taxis have the appropriate training and are competent enough to drive people to and from their destinations.
When the government takes over the operation of commercial buses in the country, it will lead to the drastic reduction of road and motor accidents as well as many other advantages to the country. Some of these advantages are as follows.
- It will lead to the drastic reduction of motor accidents on the road as the government would make sure that the drivers it employs are competent and answerable to their misdeeds on the road. This will solve the problem of incompetent drivers on our roads. Also, it leads to the eradication of poorly maintained cars on our roads; further saving lives and preventing accidents.
- It will also lead to the creation of employment for new drivers since some parts of the country need more drivers and vehicles to convey people to and from their various destinations.
- When the government takes over commercial bus operation in the country, it will lead to the consistent cash flow of bus conductors or drivers in the country. It will put an end to the inconsistencies in the amount of money drivers make daily or monthly.
- It will also reduce or remove competition among commercial bus drivers since there will be no need try in getting a considerable number of passengers before takeoff and also when the bus is in operation. This will remove unnecessary overtaking and over-speeding on the road in a bid for drivers to arrive early at their destinations so they can get more passengers on the trip back.
- It will also provide revenue to the government, which will be used for various infrastructural developments as well as other forms of developments in the country.
- It leads to the reduction of lateness on the part of the passenger and the driver as well. Commercial drivers as at now make passengers always late to their destinations. This is because they have to wait and ‘load’ the bus for it to be full before they take off. They also stop several times on the road when a passenger alights on the way, only for the drivers to start ‘loading’ the car again mid-journey. When the government owns the buses and employs the drivers, it will lead to a system where times for the arrival and departure of buses are set.
- Finally, it also leads to the reduction of traffic in urban areas as some of the drivers would be deployed to rural areas where commercial buses are close to nonexistent.
I believe the taking over and running of commercial buses in the country by the government will lead to a drastic reduction of accidents in the country. If not for anything, it will be better than the system we have now where anybody with a bus starts to operate as a commercial bus without any supervision whatsoever. It’s just a thought….
WRITER: Kofi Dzogbewu