A total of 1,990 people died through road accidents between January and November this year, with 10,154 sustaining various degrees of injuries.
According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the number, which showed a 20.76 per cent increase as compared to the same period last year, involved 17,746 vehicles resulting in 12,154 casualties.
Addressing journalists ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities, the Executive Director of the NRSC, Mrs. May Obiri-Yeboah, indicated that, “a total of 11,378 road traffic crashes were recorded in the country”.
She said “Reported cases, vehicles involved, injuries and fatalities increased by 14.88 per cent, 14.45 per cent, 33.74 per cent and 20.19 per cent respectively, a situation which exceeded the projected number of deaths by 38.26 per cent”.
Attributing the increment to the electioneering period, Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah bemoaned the conduct of party supporters on the roads, such as “motor riders taking to needless maneuverings without helmets, speeding in settlement areas, non-wearing of seatbelts and carrying of persons in buckets of pick-ups among other risky practices”.
She said “This year has been particularly challenging for road safety targets, deaths and injuries especially as the Commission tries to achieve its target of reducing road traffic casualties by 50 per cent by the end of the year 2020”.
Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah urged leadership of political parties to engage their followers on the need to observe road safety practices, to reduce road fatalities, especially as the inauguration of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo approaches.
She disclosed that the Commission was partnering with other agencies and the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service to implement a campaign against drink-driving during the festive season.
She urged passengers to speak against the conduct of drivers which endangers their lives on the road, and also implored drivers to “observe posted speed limits to reduce pedestrian knock-downs during this period”.
To ensure an incident-free festive season, the Commission presented traffic enforcement equipment to the MTTU, including 10,000 alcohol test tubes, 200 branded reflective vests, 20 dash board camera’s and seven pieces of measuring wheels.
Other items digital height gauge, desktop and laptop computers, speed radar gun, alcometer and a calibration equipment were also presented to the police.
Receiving the equipment, staff officer of the MTTU, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Emmanuel Adu Boahen, commended the NRSC for the gesture, and pledged that the Commissions would work hard to reduce road traffic accidents.
By Abigail Annoh