Carnage on Kintampo-Tamale highway must stop!

As a country, another fight we have not been able to win, perhaps after corruption is road crashes.

Road crashes with its accompanying injuries and deaths still make the headlines, despite the ongoing public campaigns on the need to observe road safety measures to reduce road crashes.

Can we conclude that the road safety agencies are overwhelmed by the sheer number of vehicles and drivers such that they cannot regulate their operations?

The year is quiet young but the statistics on road crashes are just staggering as well as frightening.

Available statistics from the Motor Transport and Traffic Department of the Ghana Police Service shows that January 2020 alone recorded 222 deaths from 1,991 road crashes across the country.

This represents 10 per cent increase over 201 deaths arising from 1,036 road crashes recorded in the same month last year.

It is estimated from the statistics that seven people are killed on the road each day in Ghana.

Last year a total of 2,341 precious lives were lost on our roads in the country!

In monetary terms, Ghana looses a colossal $230 million in treating injuries and traffic fatalities annually.

The single highest contributor of road fatalities in the country is certainly the Kintampo-Tamale stretch of the Kumasi -Bolgatanga road.

Paradoxically, that stretch of the highway is one of the best in the country and yet contributing to the high fatality rates.

For the past four years, the stretch has consistently been recording horrendous road crashes, with high fatality with little or no effort to address the problem causing the accidents.

The Ghanaian Times recalls that in February 2016, a head-on collision involving a Metro Mass Transport and a cargo truck on the stretch claimed 63 lives with 22 of the dead hailing from the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

The media frenzy that followed that crash, unfortunately died down as quickly as the accident was reported. No lessons learnt and no actions taken. The bereaved families are still in tears over the loss of their bread winners.

Again in June 2017, a Niger bound DAF loaded with frying oil crashed on the same stretch (Kintampo-Tamale) killing the driver instantly.

Then in April 2018, along the same stretch, specifically between Yapei and Yipala, in the Savannah Region, a Neoplan bus and a Yutong bus collided and 19 people died.

As if that is not all, just last Monday dawn another ghastly road crash occurred on the same stretch “roasting” 31 people alive. The death toll is likely to go up.

All these road crashes involve largely Yutong, Granbird and Metro Mass Transport buses. Is there any link between the accidents and these buses?

Why is the Kintampo-Tamale highway recording high fatality rates? What have we done to resolve these carnages that is robbing the country of its human resource and families of their bread winners?

In all these road crashes, the blame is put squarely on human factors – sleep-driving. 

There must be order on that stretch and the carnage must end. Something drastic must be done to stop the blood-letting on the road, so that the travelling public can traverse the area in safety and comfort.

We urge the Ghana Highway Authority to conduct an audit on the road and provide some clues as to how to prevent further road crashes on the highway with such high fatality rate

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