The Department of Urban Roads under the auspices of the Ministry of Roads and Highways says most of the malfunctioning traffic lights in the central business district of Accra were caused by theft and vandalism.
According to the department, batteries and cables that ensure that the lights function properly are often stolen from the transformers which causes the light to break down.
Speaking at a forum on malfunctioning traffic lights organised by the National Road Safety Authority, the Ministry said the rate at which the equipment was stolen “is overwhelming but we have engaged the police. Even though we had a formal engagement with them [police] we are now building a closer bond for them to help us out. Because it is going beyond the budget the government releases for the maintenance of traffic lights.”
The Ministry explained that ground excavation was also another contributory factor to malfunctioning traffic lights.
The Urban Roads Department emphasised that due to a lack of supervision after utility companies are given permits to put their wiring in the ground, they often dug haphazardly and sometimes cut the traffic cables without reinstating them.
The Urban Roads Department complained about a particular traffic light along the 37 Military Hospital area which malfunctions each time it undergoes repairs.
“Sometimes we are advised to put a barrier around it” it said.
Again, the Ministry said the Soul Clinic Junction and key locations like Vineyard and Liberation Road (Opeibea) were high on the list of areas in which batteries, controllers, and cables were constantly stolen.
“You put it up and they go and steal the batteries, they take away the cables. That junction in two years, we did it about three times. If you drive on that stretch almost all the signals are off not as a result of the department’s negligence but stolen equipment,” the department said.
Source: Ghana News