As of August 31, 2016, some 1,408 people had lost their lives through road crashes, with motorcycle accidents being the highest, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has stated.
Speaking on: “Politics and road safety” at a national dialogue with political parties in Accra last Tuesday, the Director of Planning and Programmes at the NRSC, Ing. David Osafo Adonteng, said the annual projected figure of lives that might be lost through road crashes was 1,440.
He described the situation as worrying and said if utmost caution was not exercised, the current rate of six deaths per day could rise by the end of the year.
He noted that although the period 2011 to 2020 had been declared as the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, during which period deaths through road crashes should be halved, Ghana still lagged behind by 4.89 per cent by 2014.
Ing. Adonteng added that while globally 1.3 million people did not get back home alive annually, between 1,800 and 2,000 people died through road crashes each year in Ghana.
He said while 42 per cent of road fatalities were made up of pedestrians, 23 per cent of deaths involved children below 16.
He said 60 per cent of deaths from road crashes resulted from speeding.
He noted that the 18 to 55 age group accounted for 60 per cent of such deaths, with 70 per cent of the victims being males.
The Director General of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Patrick Adusei Sarpong, condemned the impunity with which political parties conducted their campaigns which showed total disregard for road safety regulations.
“And when people are arrested, the powers that be give directives as to what to do and what not to do,” he lamented.
He said in 2012 the department recorded 2,249 deaths and 2,797 pedestrian knock downs, while in 2015 it made some improvement as the death rate reduced to 1,634 and pedestrian knock downs also reduced to 2,121.
“Unfortunately, as we speak now at the end of August this year we have recorded as many as 1,396 deaths when last year it was 1,634. We have also recorded as many as 1,850 pedestrian knock downs,” he added.
In a statement read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Mr Fifi Kwetey, said “the government is committed to improving the road transport sector to improve the road safety situation in Ghana”.
He said the mandate of the NRSC was being considered for review, while steps were also being taken to establish a regulatory body to help improve upon the quality of road transport services.
“In addition, the government will, from October this year, launch the much awaited Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The project will commence with a pilot on one of the four routes; that is, Amasaman through Achimota to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and to the central business district,” Mr Kwetey said.
The Chairman of the NRSC, Brigadier General I. B. Quartey (retd), said mobile vans had been introduced to help motorists with the renewal of their licences.
He urged drivers to adhere to driving regulations by ensuring that their documents were genuine.