Long ago children were used as the remote control in our various homes.
Modernity and advancement of technology have in no small way impacted our lives, influencing our day to day activities. Technology is the use of science to solve problems. It has impacted our lives in so many ways. This is because; we breathe technology and we live and wake up with technology. Technology has made live easier and comfortable.
Technology has also provided humans with transport which makes it easier to move around during our daily activities. It has provided transportation such as railways, road transport and airways.
Road transportation saves time, energy and it makes movement from place to place easier.
Despite the importance of road transport, traffic jam in Accra is a daily occurrence especially during the morning and evening hours, which are normally 07:30 – 09:30 hours and 16:30 – 20:30 hours. This happens when a line of vehicles move slowly under traffic. Areas like Kaneshie, Abeka Lapaz , Kasoa and Kwame Nkrumah Circle are some of the areas congested in the capital city of Accra
Traffic jam increases cost of production in the economy, thus making living expensive. Vehicles consume more fuel during traffic congestion. It also reduces the productivity of the work force due to workers reporting late to work, meeting and other activities as a result, it yields no profit. Also, unplanned road works, broken down vehicles which are not attended to in the middle of our roads is a major challenge which causes traffic jam. The dysfunctional nature of traffic light and inadequate road signs partially contribute to traffic congestion.
The impact of traffic jam poses great discomfort to the road users, such as stress and depression. People living in the urban areas are close to air and noise pollution created by vehicles as a result of traffic situations. Air pollution which is caused by the fumes from exhaust pipes of vehicles emits carbon monoxide and other toxic substances resulting in dangerous health hazards. Diseases like sore throat, respiratory disorders and skin rashes. Also, noise pollution leads to ear problems.
Beyond the direct impact of traffic situations on the individual and road users, road transport has been identified as one of the major causes of climate change. Climate change is the process whereby poisonous gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and other toxic substances is released into the atmosphere due to the fumes from exhaust pipes of vehicles. This depletes the ozone layer causing more sunny rays to the surface of the earth. These toxic substances cause evaporation in the clouds, thus increasing the volume of the sea which destroys the properties of people living along the coast. It affects the north poles by the melting of ice into the sea. There is a change in the weather pattern due to climate change were people feel warmer than they are supposed to feel.
These poisonous gases also cause acid rain which destroys plants resulting in a scarcity of food
Traffic jam can be minimized by proper and planned roads, good supervision and monitoring of road constructors to prevent shoddy works. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should educate people on the need for proper maintenance of vehicles to prevent the pollution of air by the fumes form vehicles.
By Portia Brenya Malti Dip (1A) and Bernice Glefoti Dip (1D)