War behind the Wheel.

Dear Our President,

I really share your pain. Really. People are whispering in my ears to write about the crazy salaries being paid some people, but I want to write about road safety, and because of this people are very angry, just like your delta force boys.  I hear your white brothers, the ones who used to call you Billy, have an expression for it, “the tail wagging the dog”. Who is more powerful, the dog or its tail?

Sir, driving in this country is not safe at all. We always blame our drivers, but I think the problem is much bigger. In fact we must blame the authorities.   Let me give you an example.  You are entering Accra from the Kasoa toll-booth, just as you get to the toll booth, a group of people ran across the road without any notice. The place is very dark, and what made you stomp on your breaks was the reflection of your lights on the white jellabiya (robe) of one of the pedestrians.

You swallow hard, say something impolite under your breadth and proceed to the booth to pay your toll. The road is unlit, forcing you to put your light on high, blinding oncoming traffic, which is doing same to you.  All of a sudden you plough into a trough which you did not see because there is no light. Then just as you escape from this trough, another car cuts you off. This time you swear loudly, only to notice that the previous day’s rain has deposited a large amount of debris, washed off the hills onto the road.

By now, you have become quite nervous. Then you see the lights of the mall ahead. You heave a sigh of relief, but as you get closer, you realise that the wars are not over. The road itself is unmarked, the tro-tro drivers are having a field day changing lanes at will. Every time you try to get into what you consider a safe lane, a tro-tro decides that is the lane they deserve too. And all this time you have been driving blind because it is pitch dark.

Sir, every time I use that particular road, I tell myself that the African God has a special fondness for drivers. Otherwise how come relatively so few accidents occur on that road, looking at how unsafe it is. I wonder how much it would cost to make that road safe. Definitely less than the cost of the lives that we lose on that road, no matter how few.

Or maybe the cost of three V8 Toyotas?

Sir, please take action now.

Bye-bye.

The Great Lapor whom you have not paid, -ever.

 

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