General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
Following the accident involving the bus of Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC running into a stationary vehicle on the Nkawkaw overpass, a cross-section of Ghanaians are calling for a national debate on the issue of how the country should run its towing system.
According to them, accidents, especially the ones caused by stationary vehicles “on our roads were needless and could be prevented.”
They went on to stress that the Kotoko incident should be a wake-up call for all of “us to critically look at how to deal with the issue of broken-down vehicles on our roads and their disastrous impacts on human lives.”
They bemoaned the fact that “our national attitude to road safety has been far from impressive.”
“…we are always willing to talk about disasters generally only when they occur and retire to the status quo soon thereafter. We hardly sustain the interest for the larger public good,” one of the respondents lamented.
These broken-down vehicles on the roads, they lamented, result in road accidents on daily basis, thereby killing breadwinners, women, children with many others suffering permanent disabilities.
Meanwhile, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) reports that an average of six persons die on daily basis through road traffic crashes caused mainly by immobilised vehicles on the roads.
This situation, according to NRSC, translates into 150 deaths a month and nearly 2,000 a year on the average.
Again, a reported 10,000 persons suffer serious injuries every year leading to permanent disabilities in many cases.
These deaths, according to a study by NRSC, impact negatively on the country’s economy.
They impact tourism inflows, strain the healthcare system among others.
The cost of road traffic accidents to the economy is estimated at 1.6% of the country’s GDP.
Furthermore, data from the NRSC indicates that an average of 2,000 deaths is recorded yearly through road traffic crashes with almost 880 of these deaths or 23 % passenger related.
Against this background, the respondents called on the authorities to enforce Road Traffic Regulations.
One of which is Road Traffic Regulation L.I. 2180 which came into force in 2012, with sufficient opportunities to help address some of these lapses.
Unfortunately, the country is yet to enforce this regulation while these needless deaths continue to hit the country.
Also, Regulation 102 states, among others, that all commercial passenger operators must be registered in order to provide public transport services.
The implementation of this regulation, according to experts, will significantly improve road safety and quality of service.