As I had previously written about, and shall sooner be reiterating in an article to be published on the causes of road or lorry accidents in Ghana, I shall in this very publication limit myself to how I might have prevented a passenger bus (car) from a head-on collision with another vehicle. This near incident took place on 22nd March 2019 in Kumasi.
And, as providence would have it, I was seated in the driver’s cabin (front) of an intracity passenger bus called “trotro” in Ghana at around 09:00 hours of Friday, 22nd March 2019. I was on my way from Maase to Kumasi Kejetia. At about a mile from Atim Atim Junction or Tabuom Junction, ( I don’t know precisely how the place is called but it is one of the mentioned junctions) another trotro heading the same direction had made a vigorous attempt through dangerous overspeeding to overtake not only the bus I was travelling in, but others in front of the bus I was in. The driver of the trotro I was travelling in would have none of the diabolic intentions and carelessness of the other driver. He too started speeding up to prevent the other driver from availing himself of any opportunity of squeezing his trotro in-between his (the bus I was in) and the many others in front of ours.
What a dangerous road spectacle it was, and I was witnessing! An accident was looming at what both drivers were doing. I quickly raised my voice and said to the driver of the bus I was travelling on, please slow down and let him go ahead of you.
Driver: No, because he wants to be the only one to profit by picking up all the passengers on the way. Nowadays, business is hard to come by. You cannot get enough passengers so he should not be the only wise one thinking to pick up all the passengers. We need to share. (Yes, our bus was indeed half-full).
Rockson (myself): Don’t you know that what you are doing can cause an accident to the other trotro? It is such behaviour of yours that Ghana has been experiencing numerous instances of fatal accidents.
Driver: But he should know better (referring to the other driver). What he is doing is dangerous and again, he is trying to be smarter and greedy so I cannot let him have his way.
Rockson: I started getting angrier and retorted, “Assuming the driver is silly and greedy hence you want to punish him by getting him into a road accident, what about the other passengers on the bus? Are they also guilty of the road offence their driver is causing? Are they not innocent? Do you think they support the dangerous action by their driver? In an event of an accident, are some of the passengers on the bus not going to die or get seriously injured along with the driver?
Driver: But he should know better by not doing what he is doing.
Rockson: Let him squeeze his vehicle in front of ours to avoid the danger looming at the actions of both of you (drivers). If it were abroad in the Whiteman’s land, you as well as the other driver could be arrested for dangerous road offences. If a driver is stupid to overspeed in an attempt to overtake you and at that instance you double your speed to prevent his attempt in order to bring both of you on a par in your speeding, especially in a two-way traffic lanes as are in Ghana, you will be arrested. You have to slow down to let the dangerous driver pass you by or drive ahead of you.
The driver then slows down to let the driver squeeze his bus in-between ours and those already in front of ours. In a split second after his manoeuvre, there come three heavy trucks in the oncoming vehicles’ lane that the other driver was stupidly, dangerously driving in.
Rockson: Driver, have you seen, there could have been a fatal accident on our hands now if you had not permitted him to squeeze his bus in front of yours as I was prevailing on you to do. How many people would have died?
What was more dangerous to the situation was, the buses were driving a bit uphill and into a curve. Why should a driver of a vehicle try to overtake another car when driving uphill and into a curve without much visibility of what is ahead of you, especially when you are using the oncoming vehicles lane?
As a stranger to the area and not familiar with that stretch of the road between Maase and Tabuom or Atim Atim Junction, I cannot point out the very area the dangerous driving was taking place to emphasise to my readers how alarming the whole situation had become with my adrenalin raised, and my heart pounding against my rib cage. Due to my timely intervention, insistence, and by the providence of God, that likely looming catastrophe was avoided.
Passengers, please do alert the drivers of the buses you travel on to your concerns if you begin to have any about their dangerous way of driving for after all, you have paid them for a service which they have to render to you safely.
Ghana drivers, I shall advise you to drive safely to avoid the many human, but not mechanical, errors, that you commit to culminate in the numerous near daily deadly road accidents we see and hear of taking place on our roads.