#GhanaWebRoadSafety: The ignored ‘pandemic’ killing millions in Ghana

YENDI ACCIDENT2.png File: An accident scene

Thu, 18 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

For years, accidents have killed many of our own; from all spheres. Death is no respecter of persons and indeed same can be said for accidents.

It is the one thing, that has killed politicians, celebrities, beggars and paupers alike. It has become like a contagious disease spreading slowly, sneeringly and gradually eating into the crux of the country.

The Road Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service’ provided statistics indicate that a total of 2,310 people died between January and November, compared to the 2,078 who died in the same period of 2019.

Of this number, 1878 men died, 432 women got killed, and 13,787 victims were injured. 22,607 cars were involved in crashes, of this number, 9,050 of them were private and 8,446 commercial.

Coronavirus emerged in March 2020 and the world came crumbling down. Ghanaians got frenzy and government got itself together, putting things in place to ensure the lives of Ghanaians were preserved.

In line with this, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in one of his addresses on the COVID-19 pandemic in March said,

“I assure you that we know what to do to bring back our economy back to life. What we do not know how to do is to bring people back to life.

“We will, therefore, protect people’s lives, then their livelihoods.”

This mantra gained him the admiration of many citizens and global stakeholders because it meant he was concerned about the lives of the populace. Indeed, Ghanaians took up the personal task of protecting themselves, in the face of rising numbers.

Sanitizers were in short supply and out of stock before time, people stayed home during lockdown, face shields and face masks became the norm (it still is).

All this was done to salvage the situation and save lives.

This attitude is far from what is applied to the issue of Road Safety on Ghana’s roads. The numbers as far as road accidents is concerned is mind-blowing. We are talking millions lost in years, and averagely 2,000 lives every year.

In January 2021 alone, per statistics from the MTTD, 244 people have already died from road crashes, an increase from the 201 recorded in January 2020.

206 men died and 38 women died.

The question is, are we; Government, Ghanaians, the Road Safety Commission, MTTD, and all other relevant stakeholders doing enough to save our own lives?, to kill the menace of accidents and to rid our roads of indiscipline?

Perhaps, if the canker was treated with the seriousness with which Coronavirus was tackled, it may have relatively reduced.

A number of factors have already been identified in our interactions with various persons as part of our GhanaWeb Road Safety Campaign.

Indiscipline and recklessness is the first, followed by over-speeding, the presence of amber lights after a period in the evenings, bad roads, faulty traffic lights and absence of street lights on our roads.

Below is the breakdown of the figures as recorded in January 2021:

206 males killed

Data compiled by the Road Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service reveals that 206 males, comprising 26 who are 18 years and below and 180 aged 18 years and above, were killed.

38 females killed:

In the same vein, 38 females, made up of nine who are 18 years and below and 29 aged 18 years and above, were also killed.

104 commuters (42.6%) killed by motorcycles:

Motorcycles killed 104 commuters during the period, representing 42.6% of the total fatalities.

82 commuters (33.6%) killed by commercial vehicles:

The data indicates that 82 commuters, which constitutes 33.6% of all fatalities, were killed by commercial vehicles.

58 commuters (23.7%) killed by private vehicles:

During the 31 days of January 2021, the number of commuters killed by private vehicles amounted to 58, representing 23.7% of deaths.

1,393 commuters injured:

Travellers who got injured in January was 1,393, an increase of 61.60% over the 862 injured in January 2020.

Commercial vehicles injured 745 commuters (53.4%); private vehicles also injured 284 passengers (20.3%) while 364 travellers, representing 26.1%, were injured by motorcycles.

2,099 vehicles involved in road crashes:

The number of vehicles involved in road crashes rose by 26.14%, from 1,664 in January last year to 2,099 in January this year.

Of the 2,099 vehicles involved in road crashes, 755 (35.9%) were commercial, 862 (41%) were private while 482 (22.9%) were motorcycles.

According to the data, reported road traffic crashes went up by 19.59% to 1,239 in January this year from 1,036 in January 2020.

Commercial vehicles involved in road accident jumped from 621 last year January to 755 in January this year, an increase of 21.58%.

The data shows that private vehicles involved on road traffic crashes also rose to 862 this year, compared to 728 last year, representing an 18.41% rise.

The number of motorcycles that were involved in road traffic crashes spiked by 53.02% to 482 in January this year as against 315 in January last year.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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