Regional News Thu, 19 Jan 2017

Central Region intensify efforts to reduce road accidents

As part of efforts to mitigate the spate of accidents on the Accra-Takoradi Highway, the Central Region Command of the Motor, Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) has established an Accident Protection Unit.

The new Unit would be positioned at accident prone areas to ensure that drivers adhered to road safety rules and regulations and among others check recalcitrant drivers.

It would also monitor and report disabled vehicles and other hazardous objects on the roads for prompt action to be taken.

The Regional National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) had also come up with toll-free telephone numbers for the public to report careless drivers and therefore admonished passengers to be bold and report drivers who drove carelessly on the road.

MTTD Regional Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Ofori, at a press briefing jointly organised by the NRSC and the MTTD said the recent increasing rate of road accidents on the Cape Coast-Accra highway necessitated the creation of the Unit.

Last year, a total of 138 people were killed in the 788 road accidents recorded in the Region which left 1,149 persons with various degrees of injuries as against 811 in 2015.

ASP Ofori said 125 of the accident cases were fatal, 224 were serious while 440 were minor cases with pedestrian knockdowns increasing to 228 as against 141 in 2015.

He said 538 of the cases involved commercial vehicles, 494, private, while 136 of them were motorbikes.

The MTTD would continue to collaborate with the Road Safety Commission and other road safety stakeholders to embark on regular and constant educational campaigns to ensure that the laws were enforced, ASP Ofori added.

Central Regional Manager of the NRSC, Stephen Anokye said the last quarter of 2016 and the first two weeks in the new year saw an overwhelming number of road crashes accounting for more than 20 percent of total accident cases recorded in the Region.

The causes of the accidents, he said, included drink-driving, fatigue, overloading, failure to use seat belts, wrongful overtaking, and over-speeding.

He called on drivers to desist from such negative practices and obey road safety regulations and also ensure that their vehicles were in good conditions before putting them on the road.

Mr Anokye said the Central Region was second to the Greater Accra in pedestrian knockdowns as majority of its roads were not pedestrian friendly.

He bemoaned that priority was not given to road safety in the development agenda of the country as accidents brought hardships and negative consequences for the individual and the economy of the country.

He said road safety management was becoming complex and for that matter a strong collaboration was needed in the area of enforcement, engineering emergency services and education.

The Commission, he said, would continue to partner road safety stakeholders to undertake road safety education with the focus on passenger and pedestrian safety since they occupied a large share of the accident death toll in the region.

Source: GNA
Related Articles: