Parliament summons minister of transport over spate of road accidents

Mr Ofori Asiamah,Transport Minister

Mr Ofori Asiamah,Transport Minister

PARLIAMENT has summoned the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, to brief the House on steps being taken to stem the tide of road accidents in the country.

 

The Second Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who gave the directive in Accra yesterday, said the minister had two weeks to appear before the House.

 

The directive comes on the heels of last weekend’s bloody clashes on the Accra-Cape Coast Highway, which left six people dead and dozens injured.

 

In one of them, George Nenyi Andah, a Deputy Minister of Communication, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya West, was involved in a near fatal crash over the weekend, and had to be airlifted to the 37 Military Hospital, Accra, for medical attention.

 

The ‘danger’ on the Madina-Adenta stretch of the Tetteh Quashie-Aburi highway also came to light after at least three deaths were reported over the weekend.

 

The deaths on this stretch of the road have been attributed to the suspended work on the six footbridges, forcing pedestrians to risk their lives to be able to commute from one side of the road to the other.

 

In a statement to call the attention of the House to the accidents in Parliament yesterday, Ledzokuku MP, Dr Bernard Oko Boye, said “too much blood has been spilled over the years due to this infrastructural deficit.”

 

According to him, “the blood of our brothers and sisters continue to speak, not curse on us, but prompts stipulating the need to rise above whatever obstacle and get the footbridges fixed.”

 

As part of measures to control the accidents, Dr Boye suggested that a scheme should be instituted to announce and publicise the name and image of the most dangerous driver of the month for all capital cities.”

 

Describing the accidents as avoidable, Pusiga MP, Lardi Ayamba, said the absence of law enforcement on the roads could also be linked with the accidents because in her view, the police compromised their mandate and allowed unqualified drivers and not fit for purpose vehicles to ply the road.

 

Acknowledging that road crashes could not totally be eradicated, Ms Ayamba urged that ambulances and personnel be made available to respond to emergencies.

 

Asante Akyem Central MP, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, said the accidents could be linked to the indiscipline by road users.

 

He said the crashes could be minimised if both drivers and pedestrians exhibited discipline on the roads.

 

A former Roads and Highways Minister, Inusah Fuseini, said government must be held responsible for not fixing the footbridges two years into its four-year mandate.

 

But Madina MP, Sadiq Abubakar Boniface, said government had engaged six contractors to fix the bridges and that they were going to be fixed in the “shortest possible time.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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