Reducing road traffic accidents – can the BECE/SSCE help?

Last week, my seven year old son and nine year old daughter wanted to drive my car. That is what watching a lot of cartoons can do. How do I make them understand that driving is not so easy, even if the vehicle is the ‘automatic’ type?

I told them they will qualify to drive only when they know the Ghana Highway Code inside out. So I gave it to them.
It is amazing what they know about the highway code in one week! My seven year old son knows most of the informatory signs, regulatory signs and warning signs. That is what expecting a reward can do.

I have maintained for many years that the Ghana Highway Code (and other things like Basic Life Support – for medical emergencies; I will come to this another time) should be mandatory in the BECE and SSCE examinations.

Many of the drivers on our roads do not know the highway code.
When students want to pass an examination, they will learn. If students know there will be mandatory questions on the Highway Code (and Basic Life Support/basic things to do during medical emergencies) they will learn about them. This will make many of our school dropouts who still end up being drivers know at least some aspects of the Ghana Highway Code.
We may then be on our way in reducing the many preventable road traffic accidents.

Note

This piece was written on December 31, 2015. It is in the upcoming book by Dr. Kofi Effah titled ‘Ghana on her knees: Reflections of a village doctor’ that features over 50 of his pieces.

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