Converting tollbooths to washrooms may pose safety risks – NRSA

Head of Head Regulation and Inspection at National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Kwame Koduah Atuahene, has said that his office will be to seek clarification from the office of the Minister of Roads and Highways on plans to convert tollbooths to washrooms.

This clarification, he said, will enable the NRSA understand the context in which the proposal is being in order to subject it to thorough assessment.

Mr Koduah Atuahene who is also a private legal practitioner explained in an interview with TV3’s Komla Adom on the Mid day news on Tuesday February 8 that the highways are designed for a certain speed characteristics.

Vehicles are travelling between 80 to 100 kilometers per hour. Hence , it will pose safety concerns if motorists have to park and and cross the road to use these tollbooth-turned washrooms, he said.

“We have to seek further clarity from the Ministry to try to appreciate the context of this proposal. otherwise, on the face of it I think this may pose concerns for pedestrians. These are tollbooths-turned washrooms which they find in the middle of the highway.

“These highways are designed for a certain speed characteristics. So, if I have to park my vehicle and cross the road to accommodate vehicles traveling 80 to 100 KM per hour then of course, there is a source of concern.

“However, the Ghana Highway Authority intends to re-engineer these sections of the road in that, they could break the speed of motorist way ahead of these facilities. Somehow, the threats would have been remedied in some regard. So, we are picking the signals from the media, we intend to follow-up at the Ministry to understand the context and what their plans are. We will subject the plans to some safety impact assessment and and if we see strongly that it may not serve public interest or public good, we are certain that we will deliver our advise or recommendations in accordance with the Act.”

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Mr Amoako-Atta had disclosed that tollbooths across the country would used to serve another public purpose since the collection of road tolls has been abolished by the government.

Government in its 2022 Budget removed scrapped the collection of tolls across the country. A directive from the sector minister caused the immediate cessation of tolls even before the budget was approved by Parliament, an act many, including the minority in Parliament described as unlawful.

The tollbooths, since the abolishing of the tolls, have been abandoned. This raised concerns in many quarters, with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) urging the government to demolish the structures for the sake of road safety. But it does appear the government has different plans for the abandoned structures.

Mr. Amoako-Attah revealed the tollbooth will be used for public urinals.

“We even want to refurbish all tollbooth structures to provide proper and decent washrooms for the use by motorists so that we advised them to desist from that practice where sometimes you see cars stopping on the highway and people getting down to wee-wee as we usually see”, he said.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana