On 13thMay 2019, an Accra-based media house, Omni Media Ltd (operators of Citi FM and Citi TV) launched a media campaign to fight the canker of indiscipline in our society. The campaign, according to the firm was to be rolled out in phases beginning with road traffic offenses etc.
The station initially sensitized the public for about three weeks on the need to be disciplined in all aspects of endeavours during which period, the presenters on various programmes adopted to a ‘name-and-shame’ attitude by mentioning on air registration numbers of vehicles that flouted simple road traffic regulations.
The station then moved a notch higher by engaging the Motor Traffic Department of the Ghana Police Service to partner it. This has so far led to three swoops during morning rush-hour traffic on various traffic routes including the Accra-Tema Motorway and the Spintex Road. The cumulative ten-hour exercise over a period of three days had one hundred and twenty-nine road traffic offenders arrested. The offences ranged from illegal U-turns, using unapproved routes, and driving on the shoulders of the road among others. Interestingly, the offenders included all manner of persons including some very well placed personalities.
The offenders were swiftly arraigned before the Courts within the La-Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly and all of them fined between GHC600.00 and GHC800.00 each depending on the gravity of the offence(s) committed.
Considering that the average fines so far given to the erring drivers so far convicted is GHC760.00, the three-day action alone is bound to rake into the Consolidated Fund a total amount of GHC98,400.00 in addition to the fact of the exercise becoming a huge deterrent to errant drivers who’d now be cautious on the roads.
As I read of the exploits of the exercise embarked upon by Citi FM and its sister TV station, the question that kept running through my mind was why the Motor Traffic Department of the Ghana Police Service had be swung into action by a media house. If not for nothing at all, the Citi FM campaign has taught us that in addition to using the ongoing Police swoop exercises to stem the tide of road traffic indiscipline, the exercise has taught us how authorities could convert it into huge mobilization exercise.
Recently, a news report I stumbled on and which quoted the Daily Star of London indicated that about 1,500 drivers were being caught daily at the Bank Station junction in London alone using seven cameras installed at the busy junction. It was expected that revenue generated will be about £16,000 an hour and almost £200,000.00 every day. At the end of one year, expected conservative revenue from traffic indiscipline at that single junction was set to reach £60,000,000.00.
Back to the Citi FM /Ghana Police collaborative exercise, my dear friend, can you imagine how much this country could raise in revenue if authorities were much more vigilant with law enforcement? If just a 10-hour exercise on two roads could yield ninety-eight thousand and four hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC98,400.00), that exercise undertaken over a ten-month period for eight hours each working day could rake in thirty-nine Million Ghana Cedis (GHC39,360,000.00) from just those two roads. Can you imagine how much more stood be generated from the Accra-Kasoa highway, Accra-Nsawam highway, Tema-Tsopoli highway, Tema Beach Road, N1 highway, etc all in Accra only, not to mention the several other roads in the city and elsewhere.
This country through the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies together with the Motor Traffic Department could easily rake into the Consolidated Fund a whooping sum of one hundred and ninety-eight million Ghana Cedis (GHC196,800,000.00 or US$37,132,075.00) a year from these five roads only. That amount could support the development agenda of the State in addition to the maintenance of these roads. Guess what, all that is required are well trained Motor Traffic Wardens or Policemen with basic technology gadgets. If the State is minded to invest in basic technology, the levels of efficiency that’d accrue to such an exercise will be so much that indiscipline would probably become one of the key income earners for Ghana for a few years.
Ultimately, the citizenry would become wiser and much more disciplined since they’d want to avoid the payment of hefty fines will greatly reduce accidents and deaths on our roads, thereby making the roads safer to the traveling public. Commuters would then find the roads much more comfortable to use and realise all of a sudden that distances that used to be trekked over a two-hour period are all of a sudden being done in forty minutes. Productivity will be enhanced and the health of the population will move up a few notches.
Then, all of a sudden, my dear friend, we would have realized that the war on indiscipline would have been reasonably won, making the life in this city and country truly worth the while.
It would take you and I to make this succeed. Let’s make it work, please!
My dear friend,