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Non-users of footbridges to be jailed

Ghanaians who have made it a habit of ignoring footbridges on highways will be prosecuted as a deterrent to others.

Offenders face seven days in jail or a fine and sometimes both.

According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), it wants to curb the canker where pedestrians endanger their lives by running across speeding vehicles instead of using footbridges.

Section 154(3) of the regulation states that “a pedestrian who fails to use a footbridge or an underpass where one is provided commits an offence.”

Persons who engage in jaywalking are liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than seven days or both.

An Assistant Planning Officer of the commission, Mr Victor Bilson, said from next week the commission would start serious enforcement of the law.

“If you don’t go to jail, you will be fined and your face will be in the national dailies,” he warned pedestrians who have refused to use the footbridge, according to a Daily Graphic report.

He said the campaign had become necessary to make the public conscious of the dangers of not using the footbridge.

“It is unheard of that people wait for five to 10 minutes to battle six lanes of speeding vehicles compared to using less than five minutes to cross the same distance on the bridge. Which one is reasonable?” he asked.

“What we are trying to do is not to prosecute for fun but to educate and save human lives. Pedestrian knockdown alone is over 40 per cent of the country’s accident figures.

“Road safety has gone beyond engineering. The people were complaining about the lack of footbridge here but now that we have it, why are some people refusing to use it? It is now about our conscience and attitude. That must change,” he said.

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