TO every rule there is an exception and that is no exception when it comes to the issue of respecting traffic regulations in countries throughout the world.
In conformity with this rule, various countries let security officers and other “Special Service” providers like medical doctors to be exempted from traffic and such is the case in Ghana where the above mentioned staff of these institutions are most of the time exempted from paying road tolls as well.
THIS is something we believe is commendable and must be maintained as a means of helping to improve on our emergency services. It is also the best when personnel from these forces driving in official vehicles are allowed the freedom to move to attend to duties.
HOWEVER, this globally acclaimed privilege is gradually fading off due to its abuse by personnel in the security and emergency services to the detriment of pedestrians and other road users alike. A case in point was when it was reported by an Accra-based radio station, Okay FM, sometime this year that a vehicle which was part of the convoy of prison officers transporting prisoners from the Nsawam Prison to Accra court hit an under-aged boy on the pavement.
THOUGH the said boy did not die from the injuries he obtained from the accident, the attitude of the security personnel amounted to how bad we have abused the system which is meant to grant relief in the performance of their duties. The story of the boy is only one of the ordeals the citizenry have to go through in the hands of security officials who see this privilege as an opportunity to always break traffic regulations.
THERE have also have been instances when the bullion vans of the Bank of Ghana have been involved in accident due to the abuse of the same privilege. Despite the absence of any reported case of death from these accidents, we believe the time is up for this misuse of exceptional powers to be stopped.
AMBULANCES, despite conveying dead bodies have also done same, inconveniencing other road users in the process. The service together with the fire team must be warned to avoid these constant abuses.
IT is our fear that our inability to put an end to these abuses might lead to severe consequences in the near future for the country. Snippets of the disaster waiting to happen in the near future are what is happening currently where drivers and other road users alike always ignore siren sounds. The complaints of these people are no exception from what we are writing about as they also believe security personnel are abusing such privileges.
THE police service is the more guilty service in this case as personnel from the service have constantly over-used the sirens, traumatising civilians in the process. Drivers from the service make haphazard use of this opportunity even when their vehicles are empty and this is something we believe must be condemned.
WE believe the time is up for the service to lead the way by ending the abuse of the traffic privilege as a means of helping to check the abundance of road carnages. Officers must lead by example, we insist.