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General News of Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Source: Chronicle

Ghana losses 1.6% of GDP to road accidents -Veep

It has now been established that Ghana loses 1.6% of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs). The factors of the cost include loss of productive hours, property damage, medical bills, human and administrative cost among many others.

The Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, disclosed this in Accra last Thursday, at the 2nd National Road Safety Awards, organised by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

The theme for event was ‘Road Safety: A Shared and Collective Responsibility.’ The awards were to recognise organisations that have the best road safety profiles and regulatory environment.

It was meant to encourage good public practices in road safety issues. According to the Vice President, road transport was the primary mode of transportation that constitutes an integral part in the pursuance of the socio-economic development in the country.

The impact of road traffic crashes for 2011, Mr. Mahama noted, had been greatly underscored by global efforts to raise awareness of the effect of road traffic crashes on the global economy, under the banner of the United Nation’s decades of action for road safety.

Globally, road crashes account for 3,200 lives daily, while it renders several millions of people incapacitated at the same time. RTCs in Ghana account for 1,800 deaths annually, with 60% of the victims being in the productive ages of 18 to 55. He commended the National Road Safety Commission, the Planning Committee and other stakeholders in the road management sector, for working tirelessly towards the success of the programme.

The Executive Director, National Road Safety Commission, Mr. Noble John Appiah, commenting on the event, called on Ghanaians to give the NRSC a helping hand in the discharge of its duties.”Road safety,” he noted is a “shared responsibility.”

The Minister of Transport, Alhaji Collins Dauda, in a statement, told the gathering that his outfit would continue to work tirelessly to ensure that road safety regulations are enhanced in the country.

According to him, the Ministry of Transport would soon present to Parliament for consideration, a new Traffic Regulation to boost existing laws aimed at sanitising the road transport industry, and to provide quality assurance for consumers of road transport services.

In the proposed new Traffic Regulation, the Ministry of Transport is advocating that a vehicle owner should not operate a commercial vehicle, unless he or she belongs to a recognised commercial transport union. Again, a person should not operate a commercial vehicle or engage a driver without belonging to a recognised transport union.

Furthermore, all commercial transport unions should be licensed upon satisfying some prescribed conditions.

In addition, to operate a commercial vehicle, one should apply for a commercial road transport operating permit. As part of the programme, your authoritative Chronicle Newspaper was awarded for being the best media for Road Safety Reporting – Print Category – in the 2nd National Road Safety Awards held in Accra.

The awards were to recognise organisations that have the best road safety profiles and a regulatory environment. It was meant to encourage good public practices in road safety issues.

Commenting on the award, the Associate Editor of The Chronicle, Emmanuel Akli, said, “This award demonstrates that our continued effort in serving the public has been recognised. The award will boost our ego in serving the good people of Ghana.”

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