At least some 168 poles mounted on the Accra-Tema motorway, have no functioning lights, Myjoyonline.com can report.
This makes the 19-kilometre stretch road one of the most dangerous to travel on during dark hours because, the visibility of motorists is limited to how far their vehicle lights can reach.
This came to light when a team of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM comprising host, Daniel Dadzie and his producer Papa Yaw Asare, took a trip on the country’s foremost expressway as part of a project to bring attention to lighting the highways, which is a major safety concern to road users.
The only point where the poles are lit is about 200 metres before the exit at the Tema roundabout. At 9:04 pm Monday, April 30, the SMS team approached a driver who poured out his frustration:
“It is really difficult to navigate your way at this time, it makes difficult because the visibility is low and you have to deal with the lighting of oncoming vehicles and your own vehicle lights as well and it makes it more difficult trying to sort out the issues on the road,” he told Daniel Dadzie.
The Accra-Tema motorway was built in 1964 by the government of Kwame Nkrumah to link Tema to the national capital. The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) in 2017, estimated that between 57,000 and 89,000 vehicles use the highway on a daily.
However, poor illumination has remained a major problem.
In 2002, the government abandoned its plan to light up the motorway to coincide with the country’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations following a series f challenges that delayed its completion.
It was suspended due to cable thefts. The problem led to plain-clothed policemen patrolling the motorway.
The average electricity consumer who uses up to 50 units of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of power in his home, is taxed an amount of GHp42 on street lights. A non-residential customer is also taxed GH¢1.02p on the same unit of power consumed.
However, most streets and major highways connecting cities have remained dark at night, leading to questions over the justification for the taxes collected for street lights that are non-existent.
Every year, at least some 2,000 lives are lost across the country due to crashes on the road, according to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).