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Red Alert: Motor Riders Are Knocking Down Pedestrians On Zebra Crossings
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A road safety non-governmental organisation, Street Sense, has raised red flags about increasing cases of motorcycle riders knocking people down on zebra crossings.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organisation, Mr Oswald Lavoe, said bikers had the notion that zebra crossing regulations were meant for only cars and, therefore, ignored the signs.

“When the drivers stop for people, they just move in with speed and knock people down.” 
“The pedestrian should not beg to cross the road at the zebra crossing. The moment you see people standing, you have to slow down and signal to others to also stop,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview.

It is real 

While he did not provide figures to support the assertion, he said the danger was real and had to be nipped in the bud. 

He, therefore, called on the police to arrest and prosecute people who ignored zebra crossings because they endangered the lives of pedestrians.

“The motorcyclists think it is only when they jump traffic light that they have committed an offence; crossing the zebra crossing when pedestrians are waiting to cross the road is also an offence.” 

“The zebra crossing is supposed to be a silent policeman. It is black and white just like the uniform worn by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) officers so road users must respect it,” he said. 

Hot spots 

The driving public in Ghana is notorious for refusing to allow pedestrians to cross roads. At places in Accra such as the Graphic Road, 37 Lorry Park, the Accra Sports Stadium and Abossey Okai, for instance, pedestrians could spend close to 10 minutes waiting to cross the road at Zebra crossings when traffic lights go off.  

In some instances, police officers directing traffic also perpetuate such acts as they wave drivers to pass while pedestrians pile up at zebra crossings. 

Mr Lavoe mentioned some of the hot spots to include the zebra crossing near the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), another in front of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) branch at Achimota and others on the Kanda Highway and Kaneshie.

He cited the untimely death of a medical doctor, Dr Sogborjor, who was crossing the Achimota-Ofankor road in front of the Achimota branch of the ADB but was knocked down by a motor rider, although drivers had stopped for him to cross.

According to him, several others had also been knocked down on the highway in front of GBC.

He urged the motor riders to adhere to the road regulations and stop at zebra crossings as their attitude was killing a lot of people. 

The figures 

In January 2015, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) raised an alarm about the increasing pedestrian knockdowns in the country.

According to the commission, in 2014 alone, 2,571 people were knocked down by vehicles that caused 13,133 road accidents in which 11,328 were injured and 1,856 died. The accidents involved 20,442 vehicles.

Greater Accra’s accident figures have been a matter of concern. In 2013, 416 people lost their lives in road accidents in the region. The figure, however, dropped to 340 in 2014.

Source: Daily Graphic

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