They Police have recently commended themselves with policing the just ended SLPP convention. They have also praised themselves for bringing down the level of crimes and armed robberies although those claims are clearly contestable.
However when it comes to controlling traffic and the menace that is on our roads, it seems as if the Police have accepted defeat and have resigned themselves to half hearted measures.
There is effectively no longer any one way streets again in this country because motorists flout that rule effortlessly. There is no longer any right of way again in this country as the brutal rule of who enters first reigns supreme. Infact the signs which used to say “Give way to Traffic” no longer exist, and if they do they are outrightly ignored as if they are outdated signs meant for the museum.
Moreover we have written times without number about the behaviour of Okada riders who are the chief perpetrators in this unruliness which reigns on our streets, and the other commercial drivers but as said earlier the police appear either no longer interested or as if they have accepted that the traffic system cannot be policed and the best they can do is to allow things to flow believing that the natural laws of nature will handle any eventualities.
This defeatist attitude by the police could be borne principally out of corruption because they benefit enormously from the mayhem. Indeed as long as drivers broke the law they can receive their bribes and that is what they want. For them it seems if sanity is brought to play on the streets this will stop their bribes and there economic status will be adversely affected.
For us we would like to see a replica of what another West African country did to handle this perennial problem. Ofcourse the madness on the streets of Lagos are not anywhere near what is happening here but soon and very soon we will reach there if nothing is done now.
Way back as 2003 an Anti-One-Way-Street- Unit was established. What they do is arrest any vehicle travelling on a one way street and impound the vehicle until a hefty fine of $160 is paid. When the motorists protests and they end up in court, the fine is increased 100 times to $1,600. When this did not bring down the rate of defaulters any driver caught is forced to undergo medical examination by a psychiatrist, and even after paying the fine the vehicle is not released until the driver has undergone the psychiatric examination. The idea is that anyone who knowingly uses the wrong way on a one way street has to have his or her head examined.
We believe the police should start trying out some of these measures. Indeed if anyone is sent to Dr Nahim to be examined we would quickly assume that person is a lunatic so people who do not want to be have that tag may desist from action and also those who have that tag will be prevented from ever driving on our roads. So over to you Mr Inspector general we want to see some real invasions here.