Road accident cases increase in Central Region

Road accidents in the Central Region this year increased by 17 per cent from 540 to 632 cases, statistics at the region's Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) has indicated. The Regional Commander of the Unit, District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Paul Aduhene, who announced on Wednesday, said 144 people lost their lives for the year against 120 persons the previous year. He said of the 832 vehicles that were involved, 630 people sustained various degrees of injures as compared to 550 in 2008. DSP Aduhene, who made this known at the launch of the "Arrive Alive" campaign organised by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) in Cape Coast, said the increase cases was worrying and called on drivers to adhere to traffic regulations. In a speech read for him, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Cape Coast, Mr Anthony Egyir Aikins, said fatalities on our roads still remained a major problem and regretted that the needed attention had not been given to road safety education. He said to address road safety problems effectively, there was the need to intensify education, enforcement, engineering, environmental and emergency services. Mr Aikins called on stakeholders to collaborate and play their roles effectively to contribute to the overall national vision of a "single digit fatality". He urged all motorists, especially commercial drivers to adopt the culture of maintenance. The Central Regional Manager of the NRSC, Miss Katherine Hamilton, said most deaths in the country were as a result of road accidents and that the number rises rapidly during the yuletide. She called on passengers to caution drivers when they misbehave on the roads and also to report them to the appropriate authorities. The Chairman of the Ghana Private Roads Transport Union (GPRTU) in Cape Coast also called on union leaders to ensure that vehicles were in good conditions before putting them on the road. He told drivers to at least spend an hour to rest after arriving from a long journey. The Regional Commander of police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Akayire Kamparah said that road traffic injuries currently ranked ninth in the major causes of death globally. According to him, road traffic injuries have been projected to rise further by 2020 if nations failed to give it necessary attention adding that developing countries including Ghana account for more than 85 percent of the world's road fatalities. DCOP Kamparah advised drivers not to travel above the stated speed limits and urged them to avoid drunk driving and the use of cell phones whiles driving, over speeding and wrongful overtaking among others. He also advised parents not to allow their children to cross roads unguided and urged them to teach their children the rules of crossing roads, and that motorcyclists should always wear crash helmets.