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General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2001

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Ghana rated among highest accident-prone countries in the world

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The Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Madam Doris Ocansey has called for a concerted effort among the law enforcement agencies and transport unions to erase Ghana's unenviable record of being one of the most motor-accident-prone countries in the world.

She said situation should be of an outmost concern to all fair-minded Ghanaians, especially, with the backdrop of strenuous effort being made to promote the nation as a major tourist destination in the West African sub-region.

The Deputy Chairman of the NCCE, who made the call at a Driver unions' forum organised by the Commission at Akosombo, therefore stressed the need for a more effective harmonisation of the activities of agencies concerned with ensuring safety on the roads so that their activities could be more effective.

She said general indiscipline, laxity, disregard and non-enforcement of road regulations had also contributed to the current state of affairs and urged the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service to strengthen its monitoring activities and rigorously enforce traffic regulations to bring sanity into the system.

Madam Ocansey disagreed with the notion that the phenomenal increase in good roads was responsible for the increase motor traffic accidents insisting: "Good roads should not be a licence for careless driving."

Assigning reasons for her conviction that drivers were responsible for most of the accidents, Madam Ocansey said random checks the NCCE conducted revealed disturbing instances of alcoholism, speeding and overloading on the nations highways.

She stressed that if the roads were to be safe, most drivers should be retrained and equipped with the requisite skills that would enable them to engage in defensive driving that did predispose passengers and other road users to harm.

She advocated the establishment of HIV Officers amongst the Driver Unions to offer them counselling, noting that in addition to motor accidents, studies have revealed that if care was not taken, HIV/AIDS would start claiming the lives of most professional drivers.

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