Yesterday a freakish yet fatal accident occurred at Avenor Junction in Accra, one of the most dangerous traffic intersections in the nation’s capital. Two persons died in what by all standards was an avoidable accident in the nation’s capital.
We are saddened that such a fatalistic accident can occur in the nation’s capital city. It can only be conjectured the sorrow this has thrown families of the deceased into anywhere they may be.
The accident was caused by two factors: the traffic lights were not working at the time and one of the vehicles was at top speed, the 4:25am timing ideal for such crazy cruising.
The Avenor Junction and the adjoining one leading from Alajo and linking the John Agyekum Kufuor Highway in the general area of the Police Depot are very dangerous, having witnessed countless accidents.
These points sometimes do not have power, rendering the traffic lights idle and posing danger to motorists.
Time was it when there was no power at the place for many months, creating parlous inconveniences for motorists. We composed a number of editorials on the importance of not denying traffic lights power, given the danger this could pose. Now fresh fatalities have been recorded but the state-salaried officials whose irresponsibility or negligence caused it all would hardly be cited for blame for the accident.
The traffic intersection just before the turning to Asylum Down from the Kanda Highway as it leads to the Ridge Hospital around Atlantis Radio, when it did not work for many months, and the one at Farisco Adabraka, both in Accra, were nightmarish for motorists.
None of these however surpasses the Avenor and Alajo Junction ones in terms of danger posed to motorists. It is our take that the relevant department which is responsible for maintaining these facilities inspect them perhaps on daily basis to ensure that they are in working order.
This way some of these accidents, as the one which prompted this commentary, could be avoided and precious lives saved.
We do not know the sense in having the traffic lights automatically turn to amber mode after midnight. Some explanations have it that the amber mode is to spare motorists the inconvenience of waiting when indeed vehicular traffic is very thin at this time. Others also claim that it is to save motorists from the possible armed robbery attack when vehicles are stationary.
If the above are veracious, perhaps another look must be taken at the night time amber mode to save lives.
But for us the real challenge is how to get all traffic lights working and when they malfunction by being permanently on red or amber or not working at all as a result of non-supply of power, the anomaly is addressed almost immediately.
The situation where traffic lights at intersections remain so for weeks, even months in some instances, and eventually claiming lives is unacceptable.