17 May My hatred for’ Aboboyaa ‘ is because of system failure
17 May 2021
By Kofi Nketia
Creative Director ,Regal Media
Ghana has serious problem with road fatalities, which have increased by 12–15% annually since 2008.Data from the National Road Safety Authority suggest that 2084 people were killed through road accidents in 2016 with additional 10,438 suffering various degrees of injuries (NRSC, 2016).
Road trauma is among the top 10 causes of deaths in Ghana (CDC, 2019) with a socio-economic cost of 1.6% of GDP as at 2006. Experts suggests that the figure could even be much higher when adjusted for the rising rate of road fatalities in the country.
According to the National Road Safety Authority, the lead public statutory body responsible for road safety management in Ghana, the main causes of road accidents in the country relate to adverse driver behaviors such as over-speeding; reckless overtaking, drunk and fatigue driving.
There is also frightening statistics that show that the death toll of riders of Okada and tricycles are increasing at an alarming rate. Motorcycles crashes in Ghana are estimated to have contributed 30 percent of deaths on the roads, out of which 15% of them are riders or passengers of tricycle.
In the 1980s where Ghana’s economy was in advanced state of collapse. . Real minimum wages dropped from an index of 75 in 1975 to one of 15.4 in 1981. Tax revenue fell from 17 percent of GDP in 1973 to only 5 percent in 1983, and actual imports by volume in 1982 were only 43 percent of average 1975-76 levels. Productivity, the standard of living, and the government’s resources had plummeted dramatically.
Ghanaians couldn’t afford to buy vehicles, most of our roads were not in the best shape. Citizens did not resort to a ‘certain’ aboboyaa to transport us from one place to another.
To see a dramatic shift in our taste for aboboyaa during this period where the world is moving from fossil fuels to electronic vehicles is so disheartening.
Even in the 80s and early 90s, Ghanaians didn’t accommodate this death trap, so why on earth should we encourage this kind of vehicle in the 21st century.
To see that okada and aboboyaa is allowed on Ghanaian roads without any stringent safety measures for both riders and passengers should be concern all well-meaning Ghanaians.
In 2020, according to statista, over 1115 casualties from road crashes were recorded in Ghana.
In December of same year, 82 transportation-related deaths and injuries were registered, a difference of 32 compared to the previous month when 114 cases were reported.
Moreover, in the period observed, the number of people affected by road accidents peaked in September, at 249. Overall, in reference to 2019, the number of road casualties increased by 22 percent in Ghana in 2020.
If the government by sheer lack of pragmatism cannot ban these kind of transportation on our roads, then the government as a matter of urgency should pass a law to ensure patrons of these type of vehicles follow safety procedures.
We cannot set death traps for Ghanaians. People are losing their loved ones and breadwinners of their families because of a glaring lack of action from leadership of the country. Ghana is all that we have, our leaders should be particular about the plight of the people.
You cannot tell the people to fix themselves when the system has not been fixed. If the system is fixed, Ghanaians will have no other option than to fix themselves.