Regional News of Tuesday, 3 July 2012
An estimated number of 1,600 lives are lost in Ghana through road traffic crashes every year.
About 16,000 people also get injured every year through the same means.
Disabled heavy duty trucks loaded with goods left unattended to on the roads account for 22 per cent of these fatalities.
Air Commodore Basin D. Dery (Retired), Managing Director of Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL), a Ghanaian private security and safety Company said this at a passing-out ceremony for 200 taskforce trained by the company to undertake road safety services and provide emergency relief activities on accident prone areas on the country’s highways.
The taskforce is the first batch of 1,500 personnel to be recruited and trained by the company nationwide.
It will partner the Motor Traffic Unit and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, the Driver and Licensing Authority (DVLA), the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and other stakeholders to provide efficient services in vehicle recovery and towing to reduce road carnage.
Mr. Dery noted that on a typical day on the Kumasi-Accra road, over 40 of the heavy duty trucks could be counted and most of these were dangerously parked and deserted on the highway.
As part of measures to help address the problem, the company has acquired 38 tow trucks which are already operating in all the ten regions, large parking lots for towing vehicles, five patrol wagons and five pick-ups for the police among other things to clear all such vehicles from the roads.
It would also provide emergency paramedical, ambulance services, vehicle repair and maintenance service centers throughout the country.
He said 20 motorbikes backed by 24-hour call centre had also been stationed at the company’s depot to assist the Police in emergency rapid response operations.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr. Augustine Gyenning, Ashanti Regional Police Commander lauded the initiative of the private sector in combating road carnage in the country and said the taskforce would partner the Police and be deployed to accident prone areas.
He said RSMSL had come at the time when efforts by road safety institutions were not yielding results.
“The partnership is definitely a sure way to reduce road carnage and avoid preventable deaths and other fatalities caused by road accidents”, he said.
Mr. Samuel Sarpong, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, pledged the support of the Assembly to the company to help curb road accidents.**