The government has described as a major priority, its resolve to bring an end to the alarming rate of road accidents in the country.
To this end, it says state institutions mandated to ensure the adherence of road safety regulations are being equipped to discharge their duties effectively.
The public, stakeholders and regulatory bodies have over the years raised concerns over the upsurge of carnage on Ghana’ s roads calling for major interventions to avert the huge number of deaths and injuries recorded in accidents.
The latest to reignite the conversation is last Friday’s two separate gory accidents that occurred at Kintampo and Mankesim which claimed more than 70 lives and left several others injured.
Addressing the press on Sunday, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah reechoed government’s assurances.
“Government reiterates its commiserations to victims and families affected by the recent incidents of road carnage that have claimed over 60 lives since Friday. Reducing road accidents in the country is a major priority for government. It is the reason for which agencies like the National Road Safety Commission, and the Police MTTD continue to receive support from central Government to address road safety issues and also to tackle the major factors that contribute to road accidents in the country.”
He further outlined plans that have been adopted to curb what has become a major source of worry to Ghanaians.
“Government is also reviewing the road traffic regulations, to address some implementation challenges as well as incorporate innovations in management services of road transport. Government also seeks to scale up road safety education and sensitive the general public to ensure compliance to road safety plans, procedures and policies.”
‘Avoidable deaths on our roads senseless, gov’t must intervene’ – Otabil
The Head Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church ICGC, Dr. Mensa Otabil had said Ghanaians cannot continue to die in what he described as senseless accidents on the country’s roads.
According to him, he cannot fathom why ‘innocent’ lives continue to perish in what he termed as ‘hazardous’ travelling.
He urged the government to immediately initiate steps to ensure that the country’s roads are safer for travel to prevent such avoidable deaths.
Whilst lamenting the deaths in a sermon, Dr. Otabil indicated that some action needs to be taken to save the lives of Ghanaians.
“The sad thing is lives have been lost; people -parents, children have died and people have lost their dear ones in a very senseless way. There is no need for anybody to die on the road. Ghana is a very small country, why should travelling be hazardous – it is not good, and we shouldn’t allow that to happen.”
“Our leadership should take note of that and not just talk about it but really do something and intervene. When we hear that people have died, it should be unavoidable that nothing could be done and not when someone is innocently travelling on a journey”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament wants the Ministers of Road and Highways, Transport and Interior summoned to answer questions on the increasing rate of road accidents.
According to the Minority, the inter-ministerial committee set up to investigate the cause of road accidents has failed to do is expected of them.
Kwame Governs Agbodza, Minority’s Spokesperson on Transport who is worried about the continuous loss of lives said it will only take a parliamentary intervention to compel the committee to implement its recommendations.
“We’ll force these three ministers to appear before parliament and actually present to Parliament, the content of the report they presented to the President and make it public to improve road safety in this country. None of the things we see so far gives anybody any inclination as to what the [report] is about. I believe Parliament will do a better job by forcing these Ministers to come to Parliament and give us an idea on what they did. So we can all scrutinize and find out if it’s fits for purpose or whether we should do more”, he said.