Five hundred and twenty people died in road crashes in 3,512 accidents nationwide in the first quarter of 2014.
In addition, 3,301 people sustained various degrees of injures in the process.
According to statistics from the National Road Safety Commission, the Greater Accra Region recorded the highest number of accidents with 1,336, while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest with 35 cases.
At a ceremony to commemorate this year’s West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO) Day, which falls on May 8, the Executive Director of NRSC, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, said the spate of accidents in the country was very alarming and had become a matter of health concern.
WARSO was inaugurated in 2008 under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote and reinforce road safety activities and practices in West Africa with the aim of reducing road traffic crashes.
This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Empowering passengers of buses to improve road safety in West Africa”.
To mark the day, the NRSC and its stakeholders organised a sensitisation programme at the Madina Lorry station in Accra to educate drivers and passengers on road safety regulations and safety measures.
Mrs Obiri-Ybeoah said the programme formed part of the year-long activities to mark the day to empower passengers, who were mostly the victims of road crashes to caution and alert the police on any indisciplined behaviours by drivers.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah gave an assurance that authorities, including the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Police Service and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), were working together to ensure that the road crashes menace was controlled.
Appeal to President
She appealed to the President to use his position as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to advocate best road safety practices in the West African sub-region.
She also urged the President to encourage his colleague heads of state to raise the road safety profile in their respective countries and also grant WARSO an observer status in ECOWAS to help facilitate the development and integration of road safety agenda.
The Officer in charge of Education, Research and Training at the MTTD, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Alex Obeng, urged drivers to ensure safety on the roads by looking out for other road users and paying heed to road safety regulations.
He also noted that passengers had the right under the Road Regulation Act 683 of 2004 to arrest and report any driver who was displaying indisciplined behaviour on the road.
The Madina-Adenta Drivers Welfare Committee Chairman, Mr Tham Ernest, thanked the authorities for the visit and encouraged them to organise more of such programmes to empower drivers and passengers.
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