Wake Up Call
I believe this article is a wake up call to all of us as christmas is just around the corner. Many lovers of alcohol will troop into drinking bars spots, pub, night clubs just to have a take or a feel of alcohol. They forget that Christmas is just a one day celebration and so is new year and that life continues after these festive occasions. They will then go and board their vehicles in this drunk state and cause accidents on our roads to variously innocent souls that may be in their right lane or pedestrians that may be minding their own business probably shopping for the Christmas for themselves families and loved ones.
Personally I don’t know why we don’t record most road accidents when our muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating their festive occasions but it is normally during Christmas a period for Christians that we encounter so many accidents and easter festivities too. The main character that we are celebrating during these times who is Jesus Christ is not found in the bible to be culpable of alcohol intake but rather we find able-bodied men and women drinking alcohol during this festive occasions to celebrate a Holy God and His son Jesus Christ. As if that was not enough the effect of accidents on our road during these times is very disheartening. We have lost so many lives in this country as a result of road accidents especially during Christmas celebrations.
No one is stopping anybody from drinking but at least let us be guided by conscience. You can drink all that you want but don’t drive with it because many innocent lives have been lost by this phenomenon in our society these days. Yes we understand it is an occasion for pleasure and merrymaking as most people would have us to believe but it is our prayer also that this merrymaking will be done in an accident free atmosphere whereby people will not have regrets later for the various parties, fun and celebrations which resulted in other people’s death or themselves as a result of alcohol.
Think About Others
Sometimes we don’t just have to think about ourselves, we need to think about our families and the people that love us and others that depend on us. I believe the life we have is a gift from God but it is not only meant for us to enjoy but for others to also partake of the dividend of it. But if we have to cut it short irresponsibly by drunk driving during festive occasions then I guess some of us are yet to appreciate the full spectrum and importance of life to God himself, to ourselves, to our families, communities, societies, our nation, continents, and world at large.
A Sad Footage
I watched a footage of a 26 years old lady in the US sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for killing six people out of drunk driving. My heart was broken when I saw how she weeped and begged the families of those she has hurt in the court room after the verdict was delivered by the judge. She expressed lots of remorse and you can see she is really sorrowful for the loss she had caused families because of drunk driving.
According to reports her level of alcohol in her blood was up to 15 even 3 hours after the accident had occurred. She veered off her own lane to hit others in their lane causing a death toll of 6 yet she herself look perfectly healthy and infact beautiful as she sat in court crying over the pain, hurt and loss she had caused others. She said she prays for forgiveness everyday in her cells and will kill herself a million times so those who are dead could live or repair the pain, hurt and damage she had caused others from her drunk driving. I guess it’s too late for her now. Such a beautiful youth will waste in cell as she herself has led others to their graves all thanks to drunk driving.
This is all the effects of alcohol. Alcohol will let you do things and leave you in regret later. Let’s watch it this Christmas as the level of alcohol intake is very high during this period. Really we would be very happy if you died alone but if you kill others and destroy properties, the pain you will cause to families and your own loved ones and dependants because you were drunk that is where the problem is.
At times when I board commercial vehicles I quickly alight when the driver is over speeding or I tell him to slow down. You know what, most of these commercial drivers graduated from being bus conductors (mates) to becoming drivers. Most of them have not really being to school and paid the huge fees we paid or was expended on us and it will be very bad to allow an illiterate driver to end our lives prematurely for our loved ones and dependants to suffer.
Let’s hold them accountable if we have to board their vehicles. You are neither free of accident if you use your own car because a drunken or careless driver can cause an accident on you. Whether you are in your own car or a passenger in someone’s car or a passenger in a public transport be on the look out for recklessness on our roads and drunkenness. Report any driver who overspeeds to the nearest police station or barrier. It’s our own responsibility to save lives. Get down immediately if you notice a driver is driving carelessly no matter where you have reached if it is even in the forest and trust God to take you to your destination. It is better to walk a long distance on the ground to your destination than to die in the vehicle of a drunken driver because death beckons in a split second and in an instance of recklessness.
Sell Alcohol Responsibly
I am of the view that those who also sell alcohol must sell it responsibly not only those who drink it especially for the counter sales. I will urge Ghana media and the government not to only campaign about drinking responsibly but also selling alcohol responsibly. Do not just sell the alcohol for money but you have to guage the person who comes to buy from you, is the person drunk already or has the person had too much to drink? These are some begging questions as a seller of alcohol you need to ask yourself before you dispense alcohol to your customer otherwise you are also responsible for the many deaths on our road.
You must be able to master courage to refuse the sale of alcohol to a drunken fellow who you know is going to drive a vehicle. In fact right now various lorry stations we even have drinking bars and GPRTU and the government is not doing much about this phenomenon. It is about time we as a nation embark on some of these campaign to save the youth of this country in a very small way because many lives have been wasted in this country as a result of drunk driving.
To the policeman on our road your responsibility is to make sure that not only do you enforce the law but to ensure the road the drivers, the passengers, and the pedestrians are safe. This therefore means that Ghana police need to intensify their efforts of clamping down on most drivers that drink and drive on our roads. Ghana police must be provided with the instrument that is needed to measure the level of alcohol intake by any driver at any time who is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol. The police must also take serious the complains of passengers that report the reckless activities of drivers and take the necessary actions against those drivers to ensure that both passengers and pedestrians are safe on our roads.
That said it is the civic responsibility of every citizen of ghana who is a passenger a pedestrian etc to report any driver suspected to be under the influence of alcohol whether you have boarded their vehicle or you are observing on the side. As a safety measure I will advise all passengers to boycott any vehicle they suspect that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. As I have already said it is better to walk a long distance than to drive under the influence of a drunken driver who will kill you and cut short your dream in life and also cause your dependents to suffer after you are dead. Let us take this advise very very seriously.
I will also plead with the government to do something about the state of our roads, in terms of repairing the various potholes and taking necessary action through the Ghana judicial service to put behind bars most of these drunken reckless drivers on the road of Ghana. We have lost enough lives and property already as a nation and our approach this time around it’s not too late so there is an accident but let us be proactive in our measures as a government. Saving the youth is saving the future of any nation and this is something that our government need to think about.
Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU)
I believe in Ghana most drivers are under unions and associations and this is some of the things that their unions and associations must educate the drivers about to avoid unnecessary death on our road. Report of passengers ankle drivers or concerned citizens about the drunken nature of certain drivers needs to be taken seriously by some of these unions. I will use this opportunity to plead with GPRTU to do something about the drunken state of certain drivers and the sale of alcohol at lorry stations. If anything at all I believe that drivers should be tested early in the morning at the stations and during the midday or after close of work to find out weather they are under the influence of alcohol before allowed two on board their vehicles and drive in towns at their various lorry stations.
I believe that if we all take some of these steps we are going to make the road safe for all of us and our future generations to come. Don’t drink and drive.