Gov't to set up committee on road accidents

Government is to set up a multi-sectoral committee to map out strategies to prevent and reduce road accidents before, during and after the upcoming Christmas and end-of-year activities in the country. Its composition includes representatives from the Ministries of The Interior; Transport, Roads and Highways as well as stakeholders in the road transport industry and the media. A press release to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday signed by Mr Kweku Sersah-Johnson, Public Affairs Manager for the Ministry of Transport, said the decision was taken at an Inter-Ministerial Stakeholders meeting held in Accra. It said Mr Cletus Avoka, Minister of The Interior, told the meeting that the Government was concerned about the spate of road accidents in the country and was determined to institute measures to stem the tide. He said research indicated that road accidents were usually on the increase during the last and first quarters of each year, therefore; there was the need to make adequate arrangements and preparations to avoid their occurrence. Mr Avoka said over 90 per cent of road accidents in the country could be attributed to indiscipline by drivers and passengers and called for a collaborative effort between road users, operators and law enforcement agencies to fight the menace. Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Transport, said road accidents and their resultant consequences had become developmental and health challenges that called for proactive and strategic measures to prevent and reduce. He urged all stakeholders in the road transport sector to join forces to ensure that Christmas, New Year and other festive occasions did not become seasons of sorrow and teeth-gnashing moment for families, friends and the society because of deaths and injuries on the roads. Mr Hammah appealed to the various transport unions to unite and participate fully in the proposed collaborative efforts amongst all stakeholders for safety and comfort on the roads. Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport, reiterated the need for more education and sensitisation not only for drivers and commuters but the public on road safety issues. Mr Noble Appiah, Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), welcomed the decision to set up the committee. He said political commitment was crucial if road safety campaigns were to succeed. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) David Avorga, Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of Ghana Police Service, said the MTTU had drawn up an action plan to educate and re-orient personnel of the MTTU and the public on road safety. The meeting was attended by representatives from various road transport unions as well as stakeholders from the transport sector.