If we all agree with Dr. Martin Luther King that “the time is always right to do what is right", then it has clearly become imperative to call the attention of the Ghana Police Administration to the recklessness and irresponsibility on the country’s roads. It has become common sight these days to see police personnel behaving recklessly and without consideration on our roads and streets, and clearly, this is an abuse of privilege. Some of our police personnel who have been trained to drive service vehicles use the roads and streets as if they were above the law. This issue is a bother to most road users and contradicts recent media commendation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Alhassan, for his exemplary and exceptional conduct. It was noted that as the IGP moved from his residence to his office at the Police Headquarters daily on the traffic-prone Madina-Legon-Airport road, he does not use the siren to have a right of way to enable him move unimpeded, but rather goes through the traffic and stops at intersections like all other road users. Indeed, this show of humility and respect for the rights of others were extolled by otherwise critical media and members of the public. An ‘ayekoo’ therefore goes to the IGP so that the police administration is encouraged to ensure that such traits of exemplary conduct permeate the entire hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service. This is to ensure that the public will at no given time be held to ransom by security personnel, personnel from the Ghana Armed Forces, Immigration Service, Prison Service and private security agencies. Ministers, deputy Ministers and some Mayors and District Chief Executives also fall foul to this indiscipline. Such acts of traffic indiscipline are more rampant within Accra, Spintex Road, on the Accra-Kasoa-Winneba highway and in all regional capitals. By the infractions of the security personnel other reckless motorists also take advantage and join the fray. It is sad to state that in situations where some drivers and pedestrians have been bold enough to question such irresponsible conduct, some of them have been subjected to brutality by the shameless security personnel, thus compelling the public to look on helplessly?
The level of recklessness and abuse of public trust is such that the legitimate use of sirens and motorcades and the mandatory obligation to give way to such recognized vehicles have been abused and made the public insensitive to what is right and just.“ A stitch in time saves nine,” whereas “a word to the wise is enough.” Let the humble IGP, Mohammed Alhassan impact his lifestyle on the Ghana Police Service and make meaning to the words of Peter F. Drucker who submits that, “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked, leadership is defined by results not attributes”. The Police Administration must ensure that all recklessness on the roads and misuse of sirens are controlled.
BY: DAN OSMAN MWIN, A PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTITIONER OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.