stretch between Kintampo and Techiman is another accident-prone area. For those of us who are always perambulating the road to the north we realise almost on a daily basis that you have these articulated trucks. The sad thing is that it sometimes involves the articulated trucks that are coming from the neighbouring countries to our harbours to pick their goods.
It is sad because there has been a lot of improvement at our harbour and the idea is that they intend to use Ghana as a hub so that we can capture the market coming from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and make more revenue for the harbour and for that matter for Government. But the level of accidents there is now discouraging them and most of them are now shifting their business away from Ghana to Benin and to Lome. It is allbecause the road is not properly constructed. We are aware of Government's plan to source funds to construct the road, but it also goes through some very bad terrain and it is going to be a very big challenge. So we need properly to look at all roads where as a result of the condition of the road accidents keep happening.
But Mr. Speaker, the issue of road furniture is also very important. It is the duty of whoever builds the road through the efforts of Ghana Highway Authority to make sure that road furniture is captured in the contract. You cannot just build the road and leave it there; most of the roads are not even marked, most of them have no warning signs; that is what I mean by road furniture.
Areas that go through some difficult terrain are supposed to have some protective cover so that in case of any tyre burst or any accident we can be protected. Most of these highways do not have these things and I think that if we are talking
about accidents we also need to go back to the engineering table to address these basic issues of design so that we can give more safety to the roads that we have.
Mr. Speaker, finally on the issue of discipline, it is indeed true that most people in Ghana continue to use our public roads as an extension of their property. There are some people, even when they are building, they come to keep sand, gravel and chippings on the side of the road and these are national property.
No matter how close your property is to the highway, the highway does not belong to you; it is a public facility; it is public property, but people do it and we all see it -- lawmakers, policy makers, police and we do not stop to complain. A vehicle breaks down and they do not try to tow it away. They carry out the repairs, spill fuel and destroy the road as if the road was not built with public funds, as if the road did not cost money to the Government.
These are some of the mentalities that we have; so we need to educate ourselves, have regard for human life, have regard for ourselves and have regard for other road users. Mr. Speaker, without all these things, I believe that we would be making fruitless efforts and accidents would continue to happen in this country, taking tolls on the economy and on human lives and causing grief.
Mr. Speaker, I sympathise with the families who lost their dear ones and I sympathise with the Ghanaian public for this unfortunate accident that has come again to give us a very bad name.
With this, Mr. Speaker, I support the statement.
Minister for Local Government,
Rural Development and Environment (Mr. S. Asamoah-Boateng): Mr.
kill and so we should all be mindful of that.
Mr. Speaker, that brings me to another point. Whenever these highways are to be constructed people want that the highway should pass through their town. I know of politicians who would scream that the highway should pass through their towns. And when the highways are diverted from certain have developed a certain habit of informing their other drivers that the police are there.
They have to flash their cars or they use their thumbs to tell you a police man is there so that you slow down when you get there, but immediately after, they speed up again. I do not know how we can bring some sanity into our driving; it cannot just work it out. Mr. Speaker, I think somehow Ghanaians must understand that it is in your own interest to stick to the stipulated speed limit because your car is not a safety for you.
A brand new car can have its brakes fail; it has happened before, brand new cars brakes can fail yet with the old cars still on our roads yet they still speed. Drivers, I hope that when we get out of this House that please, we keep on pleading that numerous occasions we have come here and pleaded with our drivers that they should know they are playing with danger.
A car can kill and it is a machine that can kill, so we should all be aware that when we are travelling we need to go safely from point ‘A' to point ‘B'. Mr. Speaker, that brings me to another point. When we are constructing these highways everybody wants the highway to pass through their town, yet these are highways and I know of politicians who would scream that they should pass through their towns and when the highways are taken from certain towns there is a huge problem.
We should all understand that highways
are highways, and as the statement has made us aware, if we need to make provision for trading or for stop-overs then we can do so so that traders can go to these stopovers where passengers rest and eat and drivers fill their tanks and move on again. That we can do. But to construct highways in the middle of towns is something I find very, very hard to understand.
Mr. Speaker, when we even do that, the people who say they want good roads, still construct speed ramps on the highways. Maybe, the Ministry of Transportation may explain why we have highways with ramps on them. Maybe, we need speed cameras which are not identified so that people do not know where the cameras are and we can then bring to book those who flout the law on the road.
I believe that with the new Road Act that has come into being we would enforce the laws to bring some sanity onto the roads.
As to the recommendation that the Ministry of Local Government, Road Development and Environment through the District Assemblies should help enforce the rules, I thank him for that recommendation. We would be talking to our District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives and their Assembly Members to help the Police and other law enforcement agencies so that we have some sanity on our roads. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to contribute.