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Sunday, May 22, 2022

1,800 die in road accidents annually

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It is estimated that 11,400 road traffic accidents are recorded annually with 1,800 fatalities and 14,000 injuries nationwide.

This, according to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), is highly unacceptable and called for a pragmatic step, to halt the spate.

Based on this, the NRSC Tuesday, held a final stakeholders forum in Accra to come up with the “Development of 2011 to 2020 National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS III)” to help stabilise fatalities by 2015.

Speaking on the topic, a Decade of Action for Road Safety: the Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. David Osafo Adonteng, said though the motorisation into the country and the importation of vehicles keep increasing at a rate of 10 per cent, the commission was determined to reduce fatalities.

He said motorisation in Ghana had doubled in the last decade from 567,780 in 2001 to close to 1.2 million in 2010.

For instance, he indicated that in 1991, 70 fatalities were recorded as against 31in 2001and 21 in 2009 respectively, adding that the target for 2015, is to record at least a single digit fatality.

Mr. Adonteng said though the country records high fatalities, the record was relatively low compared to African countries like Ethiopia, Togo, Tanzania, Niger, saying that Ghana lies at the 13 position and not third as people claim.

He stated that in the quest to achieve the target in four years requires total commitment from all stakeholders including strong political will and commitment.

“It also calls for a vigorous hunt for accelerated investment of sufficient funds for sustainable road safety programmes and activities consistent with the global best practices that are five per cent of annual revenue from the road fund, five per cent from motor insurance premium, five per cent from vehicle registration and inspection,” he said.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said Road Traffic Injuries (RTI) is the leading cause of death, injuries and disability killing about 1.3 million people globally.

He said it had also been revealed that by the year 2020, road traffic injuries could be the third leading cause of deaths globally with 90 per cent of such injuries occurring in developing countries including Ghana, if nothing was done on the local front.

Mr. Dauda said road traffic fatalities placed a severe financial stress and negative socio-economic impact on families, where some of the victims are breadwinners.

The Executive Director of the NRSC, Noble Appiah, said road safety is a shared responsibility which calls for total support to reduce the carnage.

He said road accident is no “respecter of persons, citing the accident of ex-President J. A. Kufuor, the Majority Leader of Parliament, Mr. Cletus Avoka, and the Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, as examples.

He urged the officials to come on board to join the campaign on road safety in the country to help save lives.

The Chief Executive of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Mr. Justice Amegashie, called on car owners to thoroughly inspect the driving license of drivers they employ before allowing them to drive.

He said some of the drivers did not have licenses that match the type of vehicles they drive, describing the practice as dangerous and also called for regular maintenance of vehicles.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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