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Extra police are manning checkpoints on Ghana's highways Friday as the nation celebrates its 52nd year of independence. Police in the United States typically look for drunk drivers during major holidays. But here, they're looking for speeders. The stepped-up enforcement follows several horrific scenes of carnage. During one recent weekend, 66 motorists were killed in just two accidents. On a highway north of Accra, 38 people died and more than 50 were injured when a tractor-trailer and a bus collided, which caused two more buses to veer off the road. An officer stopped me today on the main highway east of Accra. He showed me his speed gun, which appeared lighter and sleeker than the clunky speed guns carried by American cops, and then kindly let me off with a warning. I had driven 64 kilometers per hour in a 50 kph zone. Hey, it's kilometers so it looks worse than it was. Anyway, it's a good reminder to slow down, although I must say I always drive very slowly when the highways snake through small villages, where young children casually cross the street. Africa doesn't seem to be a pedestrian-friendly continent, that's for sure. When I've stopped to let pedestrians cross, I usually get honked at by cars behind me, and the people crossing usually do a double-take. In fact, it's sometimes more dangerous for them to cross in those circumstances because cars don't hesitate to pass you. It's a long way from Brookline, Mass., where one day about 10 years ago I made a turn and slowed down to let a pedestrian cross. She stepped off the curb, slowly walked in front of my car, then stopped and raised her right palm directly at me, as if she stopped the vehicle through sheer will.