Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Accra Traffic Lessons

I'm grateful to the traffic & streets of Accra for all it has taught me.
1. Automobiles are bigger than me and have no brain.
2. Automobiles don't always have an intelligent & alert driver behind the wheel.

It bothers me when pedestrians put common sense aside and depend on traffic laws for protection.
I had to slam on my brakes soon after I started backing out of a parking spot because I almost hit some woman walking by. She had that "hit me and you'll pay" look on her face.
Even in this US city where laws dictate that the pedestrian has the right of way, automobiles still whack them in large numbers!
Visiting GH after a year in the US, I took that false sense of security with me to the streets of Accra. There I was about to step into traffic thinking the drivers would see us and immediately stop for us to cross the street. Thank goodness my buddy yanked me back. No compensation would've been worth what could have followed.


  1. One always has to be very careful on the roads, whether as driver or ped. Some people call it defensive driving for the former.

  2. You forgot a couple or you haven't been to Gh recently with the introduction of the "Okada" public transportation.
    Motorcycles, bicycles and truck pushers have more right to use the road than cars. Always make sure you make way for them to weave in and out of traffic. Traffic lights don't apply to them either so even if the light is green for you to go, watch out for them.
    I had an "Okada" rider ask me last week if I was drunk 'cos I didn't acknowledge his presence and come to a complete stop in order for him to carry his obviously in a hurry passenger. Ei! I was in a good mood so I just ignored him. As for the bicycle riders, they can't move fast cos their contraption is manually powered but they also want to use the same road cars use.
    I think a separate road should be created in Gh for them to use.
    As for the pedestrian issue, hmmmm... I've noticed that the pedestrian has a right of way in any country except Gh. Even when the pedestrian is on a zebra crossing, motorists will not hesitate to knock them down. Trust me, leave everything you know and have been practicing elsewhere when you get to Gh. Just make sure you are either fast or the road is completely clear of any motorist before you cross. Me kwraa, I don't like to stop unnecessarily for pedestrians to cross (slows me down). When in Rome...

  3. Yeah... both have to be careful. especially the pedestrian as he'd be dead before any insurance claim.

  4. @Myne. Yep. Best when drivers & pedestrians stay on the defensive side.

  5. @SpeedRacer. Errrm I mean @Dentaa. :-)
    I saw the gentle intro of Okada in Gh but I hear they are like dare-devils in traffic now.
    I wonder what goes through their minds when they make those risky moves. Your blog post of the bike rider not wearing the helmet he had comes to mind.

  6. @Nana. A chance I wouldnt even take. Don't know what drives some to consider that as an option.