Regional News of Sunday, 1 April 2012
Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini, the Tema Regional Licensing Officer, has said current statistics show that about 1.2 million people die worldwide annually through road accidents and appealed to drivers to take road safety education seriously and abide by its laws.
Alhaji Fuseini said this when speaking at a Road Safety forum for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in Madina saying that if care was not taken the road carnage records worldwide could rise to two million by 2020.
He used the occasion to appeal to drivers to abide by the laws governing road safety and help reduce the frequent accidents not only during the Easter season but to take note of the road markings, warnings and mandatory signs and avoiding dangerous overtaking on the roads.
Alhaji Fuseini said it was important for drivers to keep a regular maintenance regime for their vehicles, saying, this was very important as road crashes kill more people than malaria and that about 90% of accidents are from the developing countries.
He appealed to drivers to ensure that they acquired the requisite licenses for the vehicles they drive, and that the classification of the categories of licenses includes: “A” for Motor Cycles, “B” for Cars not exceeding 3000kg, “C” for 33 Passenger vehicles, “D” for Bigger Buses not exceeding 8000kg, “E” for Graders and Forklifts, and License “F” for Articulators and Cargo vehicles.
He warned drivers who used smaller weight vehicles licenses to drive bigger vehicles to desist from that and cautioned them to take note and be extra careful while driving at night. He said, speeding during rainy and foggy areas are dangerous and urged drivers to be tolerant and mindful of pedestrians and help save more lives.
Speaking on law enforcing in the country, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Charles Ahiamale, the Madina MTTU Deputy Divisional Commander, warned drivers to avoid driving on the shoulders of the road or the use of mobile phones while driving as this does not allow them to concentrate saying anyone caught in the act would be strictly prosecuted.
He said quite often drivers who drive long distances sometimes realize too late that they are tired and needed rest but they persist in driving till the vehicle enters into the room of an innocent person who becomes a needless casualty of his recklessness.
Commander Ahiamale appealed to drivers to see the need to rest as mandatory and stop blaming witches for such accidents and pleaded with Ghanaians not to only insure their vehicles but every property in their possession such that in an event of a fire outbreak they would be compensated.
He said it was quite unfortunate that many drivers did not know when their license would expire and pleaded with them to be mindful of the expiry dates adding that research has shown that literates and intelligent people in Ghana are some of the main traffic offenders and pleaded with all to observe the road signs.
Mr Peter Tetteh, the Madina Fire Divisional Officer III, who spoke on vehicular fire, said fire outbreaks in vehicles are mainly from electrical, mechanic and human factor.
He said uncontrolled fire is often as a result of combination of fuel, oxygen and heat adding that whenever one detected smoke emerging from the bonnet of a vehicle, it is important for the driver to quickly remove his extinguisher, before opening the bonnet and tackle the fire from the source.
Mr Tetteh pleaded with drivers to always carry with them powdered fire extinguishers which are suitable to fight all combustible materials in a vehicle and urged all not to hesitate to call the following telephone numbers of the following Fire Stations: Madina 0299340112, Adenta 0299340119/0299846035 and Legon 0299346027, should the need arise.
The forum was chaired by Mr John Atta Koranteng, the Stake President of the Church and in attendance included the Madina MTTU Divisional Police Correspondent Clerk, Inspector Benjamin Adjei, the Public Affairs Director of the Church, Mr Kwesi MIntah, the Media Relations Assistant Mr Nyame Ashiagbor and members of the church.**