Road crashes kill over 500 in three months
A staggering figure of 508 persons died in motor accidents involving 4,569 vehicles in first quarter of 2016 representing 28 percent upsurge in pedestrian and passengers crushed to death during the same period last year.
The number of persons injured also rose by 10 percent within the first three months of 2016 registering absolute figures of 2,442 in 2015 and 2,687 this year.
On regional basis, Brong Ahafo recorded the highest losses of 108 while Greater Accra including Tema followed the chart, registering 99 with Ashanti region recording 78 deaths within 90 days.
The rest are Eastern region 52, Western 41, Central 39, Northern 36, Volta 25, Upper East 16 and Upper West 14, the least recorded among the ten regions.
Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) Executive Director, disclosed the provisional figures in a presentation to the Transport Minister, Mr Fifi Kwetey, who was on a familiarisation visit to the agency on Thursday.
She expressed shock at the phenomenal surge in the number of deaths in the first 90 days of the year, blaming the situation largely on sheer indiscipline by motorists, other road users and weak enforcement of regulations.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah appealed to the Minister to facilitate the process of passing bills the agency has initiated to enable it expand and strengthen its mandate to better carry out robust campaign and programmes.
She described motor accidents menace as health issue that threaten the foundation of society and ought to be treated with all the seriousness it deserved.
However, the Commission says it is operating only 50 percent of the required budget and out of the 40 fleet of vehicles, seven are unserviceable, 15 are between the ages of two to five years while the rest are between the ages of six and 10.
Mr Kwetey said the role of the Commission in ensuring human safety on the roads was very important and required support to execute it mandate well to protect passenger and pedestrian lives.
“Nothing is more important than safety of humans, certainly the function of the National Road Safety Commission is pivotal, it is one we have to support because it is very important,” he said.
Road safety agencies mounted rigorous road traffic checks on the highways early this year and identified several defects that experts say require urgent action to ensure safety and cut-down growing rate of casualties.
The visit followed the launch of the Commission’s 2016 Easter Road Safety Campaign during which it announced a raft of measures aimed to bolster operations and clamping down on recalcitrant motorists.
Unmarked lanes, emergence of multiple potholes, and location of bill boards on road edges as well as improper positioning of sign posts were the major concerns raised.
Broken street light poles, several unapproved access routes, erection of unauthorised structures or kiosks closer to the roads, bad drivers’ behaviours manifested in wrongful overtaking and driving on wrong lanes, were also cited as courses of road fatalities.
Provisional figures for 2015 showed that 1,634 persons were killed during the year while the injured accounted 9,186 involving 16,958 vehicles with total reported cases being 10,854.