Triggering A National Conversation

It is instructive that the State Transport Company (STC) has an unrivalled safety record. Their buses hardly make the negative headlines as the other players in the transport sector.

This feat has not attracted the attention of many in the country, yet it is a fact. It is our wish that this would be considered in our national interrogation of road accidents in the country. This way, the subject would be properly contextualized for meaningful discussions and productive outcomes.

This issue has come up in our informal search for answers to the questions which have popped up in the light of the many head-on collisions on our highways over the years.

There must be something which the STC management is doing which shields their buses from the avoidable accidents on our highways.

Some say the company enforces a strict speed limit and a code of conduct behind the steering wheels, the violation of which is sanctionable.

The foregone make sense and, of course, account for the laudable safety records of the company, which it deservedly flaunts always. It is important that we consider the ways of the STC and be wise about the manner private transport companies manage their drivers.

The record of the STC dates back to the days of the then Government Transport Company when the firm had an all Setra fleet.

We are calling for a national conversation on vehicular accidents on our highways, the rate at which people are dying, making travelling not a thing to smile about vis a vis the STC story. Travelling, especially by private transport companies, has never been so scary – the reasons not farfetched.

New requirements such as the state of the mind of drivers and their penchant for the consumption of alcoholic beverages are some of the factors which should be considered when drawing up such a code for drivers.

That something must be done and urgently so about these accidents should not be compromised. When the death of over 50 persons was reported at Kintampo two years ago, many thought something drastic would be done to reduce to the barest minimum such bloody occurrences in the country. So far, we have not heard anything.

We are pleased however that the President has demanded that the inter-ministerial body charged with coming up with an initiative towards making our highways safe should expedite action on its work.

If excessive speed was the cause of the latest accident, as claimed by a survivor, this makes the study and adoption of the STC module even more appropriate.

The Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) – both stakeholders in ensuring safe driving – must be empowered to take certain actions which can reverse the deadly trends on our roads.