Mr. Daniel H. Wuaku, Greater Accra Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has described the high rate of road accidents in the nation’s capital as unacceptable.
According to him the region had recorded a total of 1,996 road traffic accidents cases from January to September, 2013 as against 1,807 recorded within the same period in 2012.
He said the figure was the highest among the regional records and needed strategic effort and teamwork from all stakeholders to reduce the trend.
Mr. Wuaku was briefing the media on the road safety situation in the region within the third quarter of the year, as part of the Commission’s strategy to embrace stakeholder participation and expand public awareness and education on road safety measures.
He said currently, the region accounts for about 55 per cent of the national total of 3,719 road accident cases recorded by the Police over the period under review and said the situation required a shared responsibility from all stakeholders to help reduce the rate and minimise their devastating impact on individuals, families, livelihoods and national development.
He said national reports again shows that road traffic accidents had claimed a total of 20,503 lives and recorded 63,384 injuries over a period of 10 years.
In Ghana, road crashes were responsible for at least six deaths a day and over 2,000 deaths in a year with its accompanying thousands of injuries and incapacitation with majority of the victims being between the ages of 15 and 55 years, he said.
He also indicated that “it has become very dangerous to use the roads in the cities”, and urged Ghanaians to change their attitudes from the notion, that “it is God who gives and God who takes” and be responsible for their own destinies.
Mr. Wuaku said the Greater Accra Region currently tops the list of national fatalities from road traffic accidents and had already recorded high cases of deaths within the third quarter of the year with these accidents involving a total of 3,099 vehicles, which included commercial and private vehicles as well as motor cycles.
He explained that a high number of these accident cases over the period under review were recorded by the Madina, Odorkor, Airport, Tesano and the Kaneshie Police as well as the Accra Central Regional Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) with a regional total of 286 pedestrians knocked downs, resulting in 76 fatalities, 402 serious injuries and 1,019 minor injuries.
According to him the large number of fatalities that were involved in these accidents was often preventable, yet the lack of responsibility on the part of all road users and particularly drivers had continued to aggravate the situation.
He said the NRSC would intensify its road safety awareness drive and campaigns through the introduction of innovative educational programmes and continued its quasi collaboration with stakeholders including the Police to ensure the enforcement of road traffic regulations.
Mr. Wuaku disclosed that it was part of the Commission’s 2011-2020 strategic agenda to stabilise the trend of persons killed and seriously injured through road accidents and reduce the numbers by 50 per cent within 2015 and 2020
He said to achieve these objectives the Commission would focus on pedestrian and passenger safeties by ensuring the promotion of the safe use of public transport systems, ensure the use of safer vehicles, promoting greater responsibility and commitment from stakeholders and developing knowledge, skills and behaviour of all road users.
He stressed that the awareness drive would be intensified and sustained till the yuletide, with innovations of messages and pedestrian safety campaigns among others to protect road users.