GREATER ACCRA Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), ACP Victor Tandoh (Rtd) has disclosed that Ghana loses 1,800 lives annually through road accidents.
He said of the number, 42 percent were pedestrians and 23 percent children below the age of 16.
Seventy percent of all accident related deaths involved people between the ages of 16 and 55 with the majority of them being men, he added.
He explained that speeding was a major cause of road traffic crashes, accounting for over 70 percent of reported cases in the region.
He noted that provisional statistics released by the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) from January to September 2011indicated that 3,708 crashes were reported during the period involving 5,684 vehicles resulting in 1,771 injuries and 1,679 deaths.
Speaking at the 2011 Best Performing Transport Organization/Union Awards in Accra, he said the Odorkor district recorded the highest number of crashes with 774 cases; Airport, 652 cases, central MTTU, 538 and Tesano 440 cases.
“The region cannot continue with this unwarranted carnage on our roads; the issue of road safety remains largely neglected posing a growing health and development concern for the region,” he added.
The regional manager stressed that drivers’ attitudes towards pedestrians especially at zebra crossings was quite worrying. “We have observed that pedestrians have great difficulty in crossing as most drivers do not care to stop for waiting pedestrians,” he said.
He explained that in order to find a lasting solution to the problem, the NRSC is promoting best road safety practices for all categories of road users through the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring of data-led road safety interventions.
“It is in this light that the NRSC in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, DVLA and MTTU and other stakeholders has instituted this awards scheme to raise awareness of road safety,” he noted.
According to him, the objective of the scheme is to reward deserving public transport organizations or unions with a proven track record of safety in its operations.
He added that NRSC hoped the awards would promote road safety among drivers, transporters and agents of road safety.
The regional manager said the awards also aimed at recognizing excellence and creating the platform for highlighting road safety on the national level annually.
Nii Armah Ashietey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister in his address said government had embarked on a massive road development programme due to the major role road transport played in the movement of passengers and goods.
He said government was committed to completing work on stranded roads in Accra adding that the Achimota-Ofankor, Tetteh-Quarshie-Pantang, Dansoman and Teshie-Nungua beach roads will soon be completed to ease traffic.
According to him, the World Health Organization predicts that if nothing is done to manage the road safety problem by 2020, road traffic injuries will be ranked globally as the third cause of death, overtaking dangerous diseases like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria among others.
He revealed that Ghana loses 1.6 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through road traffic accidents estimated at nearly $288,000,000 in 2009.
“This loss is more than the annual budgetary allocations for over 13 Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the country,” he said.
He also noted that Ghana’s road transport industry lacked an effective regulatory framework and coordinated approach to deal with the proliferation of transport unions.
This challenge, he said had contributed to easy entry routes characterized by seemingly incompetent drivers, unworthy commercial vehicles and unavailable institutional control mechanism to ensure better safety standards from transport operators.
Imperial Transport Services emerged the winner, followed by the Intercity State Transport Company and VIP Transport Company.
Source: Daily Guide
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