General News Tue, 26 Mar 2019

Accidents: Government must provide detailed report of inter-ministerial task force – Agbodza

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee is demanding the government make available a “detailed” report from a committee President Akufo-Addo setup last year to identify causes of road crashes.

Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza who was speaking on Ete Sen on Radio XYZ following public outcry after separate gory accidents last Friday that left over 90 people dead on the Techiman-Kintampo highway, the Cape-Coast highway and the Nsawam Kumasi highway over the past four days.

The head-on collision on the Kintampo highway killed about 65 persons while dozens sustained various degree of injuries.

Contributing to the sad event, Mr Agbodza told host Kwame Minkah, the road crashes were becoming too much that the report from the committee has become very necessary as the country is concerned about curbing the accidents on the country’s highways.

A statement signed by then Deputy Information Minister, Perry Okudzeto, on April 16,2018, said the president, after receiving and reviewing the three-man committee’s report, granted an “Executive Approval for its immediate implementation.”

The committee made up of representatives from the Interior, Transport, Roads and Highways Ministries following President Akufo-Addo’s directive identified indiscipline as the main contributory factor to the increasing incidents of traffic crashes.

The committee is said to have cited disrespect for road traffic laws and regulations related to travel speeds, overtaking, driving under influence of alcohol and drugs, long driving periods, disregard for traffic regulations by motor riders including non-use of crash helmets among others.

But Mr Agbodza believes there could be more in the said report that will help the country fight road carnages.

“We need to get the report and see its details… Show us the deliverables…show us the result you expect,” he mentioned as he urged the government to make the full report available for the Roads and Transport Committee in Parliament.

Asked what would be his next line of action, the Adaklu MP said, “ we [Minority] will continue to give pressure to the government to make it available to help find lasting solutions to the road crashes.

He further charged the security agencies responsible for road safety such as the MTTD to ensure that traffic offenders be punished severely to deter other motorists.

“Let the laws work. Enforce the laws,” he added while bemoaning the reluctance for security officials to prosecute road users who violate traffic regulations on our roads.

National Road Safety Commission

Meanwhile, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) which has been mandated to ensure that road safety regulations are adhered to say an upgrade to an Authority status will help curb the road carnages.

The NRS has, therefore, asked the government to speed up processes to give it an Authority status so it can curb the accidents on the country’s highways.

According to Kwame Kodua Atuahene, the Head of Communications of the NRSC, who spoke to Accra-based Citi FM, noted that when their status is upgraded to an Authority status, they will be able to deal with the non-compliance of road safety standards.

But Mr Agbodza said although there is a move to upgrade the NRSC to that status, the laws must also be enforced by the MTTD to ensure cases of accidents on the country’s roads are reduced.

“All we need is law enforcement and for the [NRSC] to get resources to work,” the MP told Kwame Minkah.

Meanwhile, NRSC has announced it is taking steps to implement a road regulation which will require all commercial vehicles operating in the country to have speed limiters fitted on them.

Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), May Obiri-Yeboah said this at a press briefing, adding, her outfit intends to lead a conversation on the regulation on speed limiters as part of measures being taken to stem the spate of road accidents.

She als disclosed the NRSC has received 6.50 million cedis from the Ghana Road Fund which te Commission has been using for the implementation of part of its action plan and comprehensive road safety education, since December 2018.

Ms Obiri-Yeboah went on to say her outfit has trained and deployed 300 graduates across Ghana to educate drivers, motorcyclists and other road users at 51 strategic locations along the major highways in the country.

Lorry terminals, tollbooths, schools, markets and public places within the communities are as some of the locations she said the graduates have been carrying out their education on daily basis.

Source: XYZ
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