Some road safety road signposts along the streets of Kasoa in the Awutu-Senya East Municipality of the Central Region, have been turned into billboards by advertisers, exposing motorists and pedestrians to road crashes and knockdowns.
Some directional and warning signs have been covered, some fully, others partially, with all manner of advertisements, including job vacancies, political party campaign posters, rent notices as well as adverts on products and services.
A tour to some streets in Kasoa by the Ghana News Agency (GNA), revealed that the act was prevalent on nearly every street connecting to the Kasoa stretch of the main Accra-Cape Coast highway.
Some of the streets visited were the Kasoa-Nyanyano road, the Kasoa-Bawjiase road, the Kasoa-Lamptey Mills road, as well as parts of the main Accra-Cape Coast highway.
Traffic signs mounted to inform and warn motorists and pedestrians to ensure safety for all road users have been defaced, covered, rendering them useless to road users.
Another disturbing observation was the fact that the phenomenon is happening in a country grappling with high rates of road accidents.
The defacement of these signposts is yet to find expression in the statistics as one of the causes of accidents in Ghana, but drivers say the risk of accident was real.
A taxi driver, Robert Nyanful, who described the situation as “a very serious matter” also complained about how big billboards blocked their views too.
“The posters block the signs and deprive us of their meanings. The road signs communicate to us and so without a clear view of them, we are unlikely to know what we are approaching and that can cause an accident,” he said.
The Municipal Roads Engineer of Urban Roads Department, Awutu Senya East, Mr Evans Amofa, who was unhappy about the trend, indicated that the situation was serious.
He gave the assurance that his outfit would lead an exercise to clamp down on the perpetrators and have all the posters on the signposts removed within this week.
“These signposts are there to help motorists know the purpose of the usage of the road. It gives information and indications to motorists and we cannot sit down and allow some people to deface them because it has the tendency to cause accidents”, he noted.
“We will liaise with the Municipal Assembly and get the taskforce to the Central Business District so that such activities will be curtailed,” he pledged.
The taskforce, he said, will put surveillance on such infractions since it was an environmental nuisance that could also make the city unclean and unkempt, he added.
In an interview with GNA, the Second-In-Command of the Central East Region of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Oduro Amaning observed that since it was the Assembly’s responsibility to mount signposts, they must also ensure they were at the right place.
He said such things border on security and the police have a duty to ensure free flow of traffic and all the signposts must be in clear view.
ACP Amaning further expressed the police’s readiness to back the Municipal Assembly to succeed in any operation to bring the perpetrators to book.