Commercial drivers are appealing to the Transport Ministry and Ministry of Roads and Highways to as a matter of urgency construct dual carriageways to reduce the increasing number of accidents on our roads.
Speaking to GhanaWeb on the causes of road accidents, drivers at the Neoplan station at Circle complained bitterly about how major highways linking the country’s major cities are all single carriageways.
Attributing the recent carnages on our highways to single carriageways, the drivers revealed that the roads are too narrow which in effect makes it difficult to accommodate vehicles coming from the opposite direction especially if it’s a heavy truck or a bus.
Moreover, they sometimes find it difficult to quickly identify cars approaching them which ultimately lead to a head-on collision.
According to them, it is an established fact that dual carriageways have improved road traffic safety in developed countries so government must develop the idea to turn all single carriageways to dual carriageways to reduce the carnage on the roads.
“My main problem is our roads because if you go to Europe and other countries, they speed more than here. But because they have a double road or four or whatever lane, if you’re going you’re just going on your lane...If you look at a road from here to Aflao, from here to Elubo, from here to Bawku; it’s a single lane which I don’t think it’s the best and look at the type of buses that go up and down...The one that happened at Kintampo, assuming it was double road, I don’t think it would have happened this way,” one of the drivers lamented.
Another driver also said “Our roads are too small, there are some places like from Kasoa to Winneba roundabout then to Mankesim, it’s just a single carriageway all throughout. So if there’s a heavy truck ahead and vehicles attempt to overtake it, an accident may happen if care is not taken”.
On Friday 22nd March 2019, about 90 people were confirmed dead in two separate accidents in the Bono East and Central Regions.
A gory head-on collision at Amoma Nkwanta near Jema in the Kintampo South District of the Bono East Region killed about 55 passengers (where 35 were burnt beyond recognition) and injured dozens.
Also at Ekumfi Abor on the Winneba-Cape Coast Highway in the Central Region, more than 30 people feared dead in an accident which involved a Yutong bus travelling from Takoradi to Accra and a Metro Mass bus heading towards Cape Coast.
Body parts littered the scene just as blood ran everywhere with the injured rushed to the Winneba Trauma Hospital and the Mankessim Catholic Hospital while the bodies of the deceased were deposited at the morgue of the same hospitals.
Although Ghana’s roads are considered one of the safest on the continent, the absence of dual-carriage roads leading to major towns and cities have been cited as a contributing factor to crashes, a lot of them resulting in fatalities.
A number of the cases recorded are also due to carelessness on the part of drivers while many others are caused by mechanical faults.
Estimates show that Ghana loses over 230 million dollars yearly due to road accidents. The loss correlates to 1.7% of the country's Gross Domestic Product.
The NRSC announced in 2010 that there were 19 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in Ghana. Statistics showed that 43% of the fatalities involved pedestrians and 53% involved occupants of vehicles. And 23% of all pedestrian fatalities involved children below the age of 16 years.
According to the NRSC, the major cause of road accidents in Ghana is due to excessive speeding. This accounts for 60% of car crashes in the country.