Traffic lights throughout the country are to be rehabilitated and linked to central locations in the cities for efficient traffic control, under an Areawide Traffic Light Signalisation Project.

The “Expression of Interest” has been opened for consultants to submit bids for the project expected to start in Accra and Kumasi by the end of the year.

The Traffic Engineer of the Accra Metro Roads Department, Theodore Quaye, who disclosed this to the Times yesterday, said the country’s traffic lights have outlived their lifespan.

“The traffic lights we have in the system at present are over 10 years old, they have outlived their lifespans and their parts are no more in production in Europe,” he said.

Mr Quaye said this situation had occasioned the build up of traffic in the cities causing inconvenience to motorists.

He said two companies, FACOL and Signal and Control Limited have been contracted to replace all traffic lights with new ones fitted with energy saving devices.

He said the traffic lights from the various locations in the city would be linked up to a central location within the city to control traffic.

Mr Quaye explained that the Central Control System will ensure easy flow of traffic when there is heavy build up of traffic at a particular traffic light.

“The system will monitor the traffic situation at the traffic lights to ensure smooth flow of traffic,” he added.

Mr Quaye said the department will periodically undertake maintenance of new traffic lights to be installed to ensure that they last long.

He said that the fluctuation in electricity supply had affected the control panels because there are no stabilisers fitted to the traffic lights, adding that last year’s load shedding had blown up a number of the traffic lights’ control panels.

Asked why the traffic lights could not be procured locally, Mr Quaye recalled that sometime back, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology manufactured some, “but they were shortlived, and have been phased out.”

Motorists in Accra have been experiencing traffic jams at some locations due to the non-functioning of the traffic lights.

AUTHOR: Salifu Abdul-Rahaman
DATED: 14th May 2008