There is a popular joke that the name zebra crossing should be changed to human crossing because some drivers think the name suggests it is for zebras. Well, to all those drivers, I say, please, it is for human beings. In fact, zebra crossing is also known as pedestrian crossing but I wonder why pedestrian crossing is not as popular as zebra crossing is.
Zebra crossing as is seen on the roads are there not for decorative purposes but for one of the most significant activities on the road, pedestrians crossing the road. But how many drivers know the essence of zebra crossing? And even those who know its significance clearly ignore it.
The zebra or pedestrian crossing is put on the road to allow pedestrians to cross the road without any troubles from approaching vehicles. It is imperative to note that unless the vehicle has stepped on the pedestrian crossing, it must give way for the pedestrians to cross. Indeed, not just that but drivers are meant to stop for pedestrians to cross when they are at the edge of the sign waiting to cross but sadly drivers just speed on without giving the pedestrians any attention.
Just imagine a driver without any knowledge that he/she doesn’t have to stop on the zebra or pedestrian crossing even in traffic, so frustrating. While there is vehicular traffic and pedestrians could use the pedestrian crossing for once at least, a driver drives slowly and eventually stops on crossway and you wonder what other road sign they acknowledge.
It is appalling that we live in a country where road signs like pedestrian crossings are ignored by drivers. Shouldn’t drivers be punished for ‘harassing’ pedestrians on pedestrian crossings?
If drivers are mandated to familiarize themselves with road signs in driving schools before completion, then why do they turn a blind eye to these signs when driving? Is it ignorance or a deliberate attempt to mock the system?
If it is ignorance, then it shows how many drivers on the road lack proper training. In any case, do they have the required license for driving? If so, how did they acquire those licenses? Can anyone learn the art of driving on any football field and go for a license?
How many mates after hustling behind the rusty doors of their rickety vehicles and eventually learning how to drive go for licenses before actually sitting behind the steering wheels of other trotro vehicles to carry precious lives across the city?
Such blatant and incontrovertible and most often than not deliberate disregard for road signs and regulations is so disgusting. And to think that pedestrians bear the brunt by getting insulted by these drivers who clearly feel chauvinistic is unpardonable.
Clearly, stringent measures need to be put in place to ameliorate this canker that is sickening our system.
Indeed, I’m from Assin Central, the constituency of Kennedy Ohene Agyapong where there are no pedestrian crossings on the road, but in Greater Accra, there is, so let us make good use of them.
Columnist: Yussif Ahmed