Fad? Yes, fad. The eleventh edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines fad simply as “a craze”. In turn, craze is defined as “a widespread but short – lived enthusiasm for something”. The updated version of the Miriam – Webster’s Dictionary as of February 9, 2019 defines it simply as “something (such as an interest or fashion) that is very popular for a short time” and in full definition as “a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal.” Fittingly, this dictionary also gives ‘craze’ as a synonym.
Remember when commercial drivers used to tell women to occupy other seats even when they had boarded the vehicle before men come aboard? Or when no parent will even allow the child to be in the front seat but fasten them firmly to the backseat or middle seats? And when pregnant women will not be allowed to occupy front seat?
What then is no longer a fad? The answer may surprise you. Nothing is more sickening than knowing the people who even practise it. And how ignorantly it happens on a larger scale. Forgive me, however, if you practise it. What is it at all?
I first witnessed this at Taifa, Accra, when a fraudster’s girlfriend was delivered of a baby. Two months afterwards, I saw the man driving while holding on to the baby with one hand. What! You may have seen similar scenes too. This was 2011. After spending four years in Cape Coast, a year at Bechem and returning to Accra , the very first thing I saw after alighting from a car at Kisseman was another man repeating the very same thing I saw with my very eyes at Taifa. Honestly, I was not worried at the scene because I later in the day realized he too was a fraudster. And most of these guys you know are not elites. Sadly, the next day saw me especially anxious because of the people I now saw carrying out the practice. Who were they?
A nurse driving some kids to school; a man in jacket and tie driving a government registered vehicle; a policewoman driving her son and some policemen; a taxi driver returning his daughter home and even a known Legon lecturer driving her wards home after school. They were jaw – dropping scenes. And for all the three years I have been living in Accra, the scene has become commonplace.
Nobody, I stand to be corrected though, knows why these people put the lives of their precious kids at a high risk. Whatever the case, I believe the law is straight on positioning of kids in vehicles. And I’m sure if anyone has a driver’s license, then that fellow is well aware of the reason(s) why such an act is utterly illegal.
The other one like that is when children are allowed to keep their heads outside the car window especially by parents and school bus drivers. Typical examples can be cited but the bottom line is this: Are people unaware that such actions are fraught with grave consequences? Do the police see these illegal vehicular activities or not? Should the acts be taken seriously as described by the law or it’s now a judgment call?
Well, I hope my plea ignites the interest of individuals and law enforcement agencies to consider this issue which has taken root and root it out. Thank you!
– By Abukari Musah Calamu.
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