The first two months of 2018 recorded a staggering 366 deaths to road accidents, with 2,272 others severely injured, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has said.
In all,2,085 road crash cases were reported, which involved 3,485 vehicles.
Surprisingly 1,401 private vehicles were involved in road crashes more than commercial vehicles, which recorded 1,394 deaths.
Six hundred and twenty motorcycles were also involved in the road crashes.
The Executive Director of NRSC, Ing May Obiri-Yeboah revealed this while launching the National Easter campaign, dubbed ‘The family needs you alive, drive safely, think safely’, at the Achimota Bus Terminal, Accra, yesterday.All pix.by Eric Owiredu
She explained that between January and February last year, the country experienced 1,986 crashes which involved 2,987 vehicles.
She said 1,255 commercial vehicles; 1,221 private vehicles and 511 motor cycles were involved in the road crashes for the period.
“This, compared to the same period last year, the number of road traffic crashes and the number of vehicles involved have increased by approximately 5% and 14.3% respectively, whereas the number of recorded injuries and deaths are by 9.8% and 3.4% respectively,” she stated.
According to her, preliminary investigation into the causes of the crashes showed that contempt for and non-compliance with road safety regulations on the part of drivers were the main contributing factors of the traffic fatalities.
She blamed these crashes on the absence of road signs and road markings, street lighting and safe-crossing facilities for pedestrians.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah feared that Ghana might not be able to achieve the UN decade of Action, which targets to reduce road fatality to 1,000 by 2020.
The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah indicated that Easter festivities are rush-hour periods for many drivers, since it is the time that many people travel for conventions, sightseeing, tourism and picnics.
The rush-hour, he said, is usually characterised by lawlessness and “I must say that, the level of indiscipline on our roads is worrying.
“The nuisance in the use of sirens, needles honking, driving on the shoulders of the road, disregard by motor riders for traffic signals, among other issues, all combine to disturb our roads.”
In the face of all these indiscipline on our roads, he said the government, especially his Ministry, is determined to provide the needed leadership and measures to improve the road safety situation in the country.
To him, it is unforgiving that the country has about 60% of crash victims within their productive ages of 18 to 55 years, saying: “This trend means we are building communities of widows and orphans out of indiscipline.”
Mr Asiamah added that traffic crashes have the potential to have negative impact on the country’s tourism, which would, in the long run, have adverse effect on the economy.
To ensure road crashes are reduced to the barest minimum, he urged that road safety messages must be made a household message.
“We must reach out to every individual in every corner of the country. Government alone cannot do this on its own, for obvious resource constraints. We will, therefore, rely on your continuous support in this regard.”
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Ashanti Apeatu, in a speech delivered on his behalf, indicated that the relevance of road transport has been challenged by unacceptable level of road traffic crashes and its resultant fatalities and injuries.
He promised that the police administration would deploy traffic personnel, including Accident Prevention Squad (APS) on accident prone roads and highways/cities, to manage and control traffic, check excessive speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving and overloading.