A fortnight ago, the Ministry of Transport launched a Christmas road safety sensiti-sation campaign in Accra, as part of efforts to prevent road accidents during the yuletide.
The campaign which was launched with a road safety walk was to draw the attention of road users to road crashes which get worse in November and December, and especially during the festive season of Christmas and New Year.
Unfortunately, the campaign had hardly taken off, when it was reported at the weekend that, 12 people perished while several others sustained various degrees of injuries in two separate accidents on the Bonwire-Hohoe-Jasikan road and Kasoa Galilea in the Volta and Central regions respectively.
The accident on the Bonwire-Hohoe Jasikan road claimed 10 lives, while two persons were reported dead in the Kasoa Galilea crash.
Although the Times cannot totally rule out accidents on the roads in the country, it is disturbing that, we continue to record high rates of accidents nationwide.
Available records indicate that a total of 11,035 road traffic crashes involving 16,749 vehicles, with 9,648 injuries were recorded nationwide as at October this year.
Of the number, 1,606 deaths, were recorded. The figures represent an increase of 3.1 per cent in the number of vehicles involved in accidents and, 4.1 per cent deaths within the same period last year.
Curiously, 12 people have died in a road crash in one day which raises a lot of concern at this particular period when the nation’s attention is focussed on efforts to minimise accidents during the festivities.
The Times is concerned that before entering the festive period, we have already started recording high road fatalities. The question is, what are we not doing right to prevent the road crashes?
It is disturbing that both drivers and other road users continue to pay little attention to public education and the responsibilities placed on them.
Passengers, in particular have been urged to speak up and challenge transport owners who disregard road traffic regulations and report such conducts, to the security agencies, but many of them completely ignore the pleas.
The security agencies cannot also escape blame for the increased road crashes, as some of them look the other way, when they should be arresting and prosecuting offending motorists. But these are not excuses for us to continue to throw caution to the wind.
We are aware that human error, non-road worthy vehicles, poor road conditions, as well as poor weather conditions, contribute largely to motor accidents.
This is, why the government agencies tasked to ensure good roads should also make our roads safe and motorable to prevent accidents.
It is also important for the National Road Safety Commission (NSRC), the Motor Transport Traffic Department of the Ghana Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), to intensify their public awareness of road safety and preventive measures.
The increased presence on the roads of the police to enforce traffic regulations across the country can also serve as a deterrent.
We must work to reduce the road crashes and prevent the carnage during this year’s festivities.