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General News of Saturday, 20 October 2007

Source: GNA

12,000 killed in road accidents

... from 2000 to 2006
Accra, Oct. 20, GNA - Eleven thousand, nine hundred and sixty-two persons were killed, while 33,805 were injured in 70,534 road accidents reported due to reckless driving between the year 2000 and 2006, Mr Daniel O Adonteng, Deputy Director, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the National Road Safety Commission, said on Friday. He gave these statistics at the celebration of the International Road Transport Action Campaign Week in Accra, on the theme: "Organizing globally, building union power, correcting indiscipline on our roads, eradicating the carnage and addressing the undue delay at our frontiers".

The programme, organized by the Federation of Transport Unions of Ghana (FTU) and sponsored by Unique Insurance Company, Metro Mass Transport Ltd. and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, is to serve as a platform to ensure cohesion in the transport sector to enhance transportation in Ghana and the West African neighbours.

Mr Adonteng said with the country's vehicle population rising to 1.2 million by 2010, it was estimated that 12,000 persons could be killed in road accidents, while move than 40,000 would be injured. He pinpointed unnecessary over-taking, driving above approved speed limits, over-loading of vehicles, abandoning broken-down vehicles on the roads without warning signs, drunk-driving and the use of poorly maintained vehicles as some of the basic road traffic offences that were likely to cause accidents and advised drivers to avoid such pitfalls as a way of reducing the carnage on the roads.
Mr Adonteng expressed concern about the high level of indiscipline among drivers of commercial and private vehicles and called for the creation of a "dedicated police enforcement team" to support the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) to enforce the laws to minimize fatal road accidents.
He also suggested the establishment of road safety call centres, a "National Driver Academy" and the inclusion of road safety education in the curriculum of basic schools in the country.
Mr Emmanuel Armstrong Mensah, Coordinator of the Federation of Transport Unions, urged the authorities to check undue delays of drivers at the country's borders, which was hampering the movement of road transport organizations and businesses across the frontiers.
Mr Kofi Asamoah, Deputy Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress urged the transport unions in Ghana to link up effectively with their counterparts in the West Africa Sub-Region to help minimize the carnage on the roads and also help to solve problems that transporters face at the frontiers.