1,225 died in accidents in 7 months

Ms May Obiri Yeboah addressing participants  the forum (1)

Ms May Obiri Yeboah addressing participants at the forum

A total of 1,225 people were killed in road traffic crashes between January and July this year.

The figure represents  a 30 per cent increase in the number recorded for the same period last year.

Mrs. May Obiri Yeboah,  Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), who disclosed this at a forum on safety for school children in Accra yesterday.

She said 194 children below the age of 18 years constituted about 16.2 per cent of the casualties, adding that 1,654 pedestrians were knocked down in 7,244 road crashes involving 11,229 vehicles.

xxx (3)The Executive Director expressed worry at the statistics and reiterated the urgency to do more if the country should achieve the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety target of halving road crashes by the year 2020.

To remedy the situation, she said the NRSC had engaged the services of  the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, Ghana Education Service and Transport Unions.

She said the Commission was also promoting the use of crossing aids, also called the ‘lollipop stand’.

Demonstrating how one could cross the road with the lollipop stand, Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah said the pedestrian should pick the stick or a flag in a stand mounted by the road side, raise it to the arm level and stretch towards the road at a convenient and safe time to stop oncoming vehicles.

Road safety, she said, was a shared responsibility and urged a collaboration between the government and stakeholders to protect the lives of school children and others.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Fiifi Kwetey, assured of        government’s  continued support for the NRSC, adding that the government had distributed about 500, 000 textbooks to the Ghana Education Service.

Zohra Mcdooley-Aimone, Head of Corporate Affairs, PUMA Energy said about 115,000 school children in 10 countries including Ghana had benefitted from PUMA’s road safety advocacy.

She said 15,000 school children in 57 schools in the Greater Accra Region had been schooled on road safety.

Other activities PUMA engaged in she said included construction of pedestrian crossing aids and proposed road safety education in other districts.

By Malik Sullemana

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