Even David Cameron stays in traffic; siren abuse condemned

The noisy attention top government officials draw to themselves while escorted by motorcades at rush hours has been condemned as symptoms of a retrogressive mindset.

Panelist on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show took turns to condemn the indiscriminate use of sirens by some government officials who use their positions as a mask for their poor time management and subsequently to bulldoze their way through traffic.

“I have sat in traffic next to [British PM] David Cameron in London. This was in traffic and the cars were moving at the same pace. Are you telling me he didn’t have anywhere to go?” Sarah Asafu Agyei of Citizen Ghana bemoaned.

She recalled that in 2013, the President directed that only the President, Vice-president and Speaker of Parliament could use dispatch riders.

“But now every Tom, Dick and Harry has dispatch riders”, she stated. She pointed fingers at some officials in the security services who use sirens to drop off their children at school.

“It is totally wrong”, she said and turned her attention to some drivers of bullion vans. Sarah wondered why bullion drivers still see the need to drive with sirens even though there are no security implications for staying in traffic.

“They [Bullion vans] are padlocked, they have armed police on guard so why do they rush through the traffic?” Sarah wondered.

She was joined in her frustrations by Vice-president of IMANI, Ghana Kofi Bentil who questioned the need for government officials to use sirens.

“Does anybody want to shoot the president today in this country? Should you be driving at 100 kph in the middle of town endangering everybody’s life? “ he asked.

Kofi Bentil believes that an accident in August 2007 involving president John Kufuor should have been a watershed moment in the use of motorcades and sirens to escort the president.

He recalled that the president’s fast-moving motorcade was totally unaware that the vehicle carrying president Kufuor had somersaulted at the Opeibea Intersection on the Airport – 37 Military Hospital road.

It took the immediate response of pedestrians, hawkers and vendors who rushed to the scene to help the president out of danger. Kufuor was left clutching his head.

According to the policy expert, “who needs to use a siren apart from an ambulance” and observed that in Ghana the most important ambulances are taxi drivers.

Stand-in host and CEO of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, Senyo Hosi, added that the problem could be that orders and directives from top officials including the president are disregarded by executing officials.

The panelist and host were discussing social issues as Ghana marks 55 years as a Republic.

Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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