508 killed in accidents in 4mths

A staggering figure of 508 persons died in motor accidents, involving 4,569 vehicles, in the first quarter of 2016 representing 28 per cent upsurge in pedestrian and passengers crushed to death during the same period last year.

The number of persons injured also rose by 10 per cent within the first three months of 2016, with absolute figures of 2,442 in 2015 and 2,687 this year.

The Brong-Ahafo Region recorded the highest loss of 108 lives while Greater Accra including Tema, recorded 99 whiles Ashanti Region recorded 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 these to the Transport Minister Fifi Kwetey who was on a familiarisation visit to the Commission on Thursday.

She blamed the situation largely on 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 Commission has initiated to enable it expand and strengthen its mandate to better carry out robust campaign and programmes.

She described motor accidents menace as a health issue that threaten the foundation of society and ought to be treated with all the seriousness it deserved.

Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah said it is operating only 50 per cent of the required budget and out of the 40 fleet of vehicles, seven are unserviceable, 15 were between the ages of two to five years while the rest were 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 its 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 the 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 clamp 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 behaviours of drivers manifested in wrongful overtaking and driving on wrong lanes, were also cited as causes 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.

GNA

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