Cape Coast,– Participants at a road safety stakeholders’ meeting in Cape Coast have called on road safety agencies to intensify education to ensure that drivers and other road users are well educated, informed, and abreast with road traffic laws and regulations.
According to them, the gross disregard for road traffic laws and regulations and indiscipline on the part of road users including drivers, riders, and pedestrians could mean that they were ignorant of the existence of the laws.
Additionally, the participants called for an end to political interference in the work of road safety agencies especially when it came to enforcing the law, stressing that the agencies must have the free hand to enforce the law without fear or favour.
The stakeholders’ meeting was put together by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to solicit input from stakeholders on how to stem the increasing incidents of road accidents on major highways in the Region.
The participants included representatives from the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs), National Insurance Commission (NIC), and Transport Operators.
Others were Civil Society, Police MTTD, DVLA, Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Urban Roads, Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), National Ambulance, and the media.
They discussed and raised various factors, which they believed were contributing factors to the spate of road accidents in the Region, and suggested measures that could be employed to reduce the menace to the barest minimum.
Key among the concerns were the creation of pedestrian walkways, underage tricycle riders especially in the Cape Coast Metropolis, and indiscipline on the part of road users, poor condition of the road, speed ramps, and lack of street lights.
These practices, they said put the safety of pedestrians and road users at risk and called for strict enforcement of road traffic laws and regulations, which they believed would significantly, help in addressing the incident of road crashes in the country.
As part of strategies to ensure accident-free festivities in December and beyond, an Inter-Sectorial Task Force on Road Safety committee has been formed in the Region.
The committee is expected to put in place pragmatic measures to ensure compliance on the road, for free flow of traffic, and ultimately reduce road accidents.
Ms. Linda Affotey Annang, Regional Head of the NRSA, underscored the importance of stakeholder collaboration in ensuring safety on the road.
She said the NRSA would continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to deploy multi-faceted approaches and strategies to deal with the menace.
Giving some statistics on road crashes in Ghana, she revealed that the Country records about 11,400 crashes annually with 2,000 fatalities, 14,000 injuries and added that six persons were killed daily while road accidents accounted for the loss of 1.6 percent of the Country’s GDP.
She mentioned limited signage and markings on the road, lack of pedestrian walkways, and safe crossings as some of the challenges of road safety and called for the dualization of major highways in the country.
Superintendent Stephen Awuah, Central Regional Police MTTD Commander, reiterated the readiness of the Police to collaborate with other stakeholders to provide security on the road.
He said the Police would continue to increase their presence on the road to check over speeding, drunk driving, among other indiscipline behaviours on the highway.
Mr. Godwin Emnideme, a Technician Engineer with the DVLA noted with concern that some people were using their privately registered vehicles for commercial purposes and advised the public not to patronize them.
Source: Ghana News Agency