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General News of Wednesday, 23 June 2021


NIC, GIA engage stakeholders on road carnage

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The National Insurance Commission (NIC) and the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), will on Monday, June 28, engage stakeholders and road users on how there can be discipline on our roads and reduce road carnage.

Dubbed “The carnage and indiscipline on our roads must stop – every life matters,” the engagement will try to unravel the staggering statistics on deaths and severe injuries associated with accidents through reckless driving on our roads.

The stakeholder’s engagement, which will be via zoom, will have speakers like H. E. Imane Ouaadii, Aretha Duku, Mabel Sagoe, SP Alex Kwaku Obeng, Dr Justice Yaw Ofori and Ing. David Osafo Adonteng.

On 14 January, 2020 a Hyundai bus collided with an on-coming Man Diesel bus at Dompoase in the Central Region, when the driver of the former attempted to overtake another vehicle in a curve.

This led to the deaths of 34 persons (made up of 20 adult males, 11 adult females and 3 children) while 54 others sustained serious injuries. Similarly, on 14 April 2021, it was reported that three hawkers were killed in an accident on the 37-Burma Camp Road in Accra by two young drivers, allegedly racing along the road. The vehicles veered off the road, running into the group of hawkers selling along the stretch.

A day earlier, a similar accident had been reported along the Tamale-Buipe Highway (Alipe in the Central Gonja District) leading to the deaths (on the spot) of 11 passengers on board a bus vehicle. These are but a few examples of the result of deaths arising from reckless driving on our roads.

The National Road Safety Authority (Road Crashes Statistics in Ghana for 2019) there were 10,808 crashes and 2073 fatalities (deaths) in 2019. This was an increase of 9.8% and 2.6% in crashes and fatalities respectively over that of 2018. Unfortunately, the Road User Class with the highest number of deaths and severe injuries continues to be PEDESTRIANS, accounting for 36.7% followed by Motor Cycles (28%) and then Bus Occupants (14.4%). Pedestrian deaths for 2019 increased by 11.7% over that of 2018.

The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service also estimates that there have been a total of 4009 Accidents with 771 deaths during the first quarter of 2021. It is very worrying to note that the majority of these deaths and severe injuries occur through RECKLESS DRIVING including, drunken driving, jumping red lights and not stopping or slowing down at Pedestrian Crossing/Zebra Crossing.

Others are overtaking at curves, facing on-coming vehicles and stopping abruptly without signals. The impact of these deaths on our economy is estimated at about two per cent of the gross domestic product. Importantly, the future of a promising life turns gloomy overnight, families (nuclear and external) become destitute and dreams are shattered by the death or severe injury of a breadwinner caused by a reckless driver.

It is in light of the above that the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) (the Trade Association of all licensed Insurance and Reinsurance Companies in Ghana) remains concerned about the staggering statistics on deaths and severe injuries associated with accidents through reckless driving on our roads.

GIA is calling for stiffer penalties and more custodial sentences for those convicted of reckless driving. The Association is appealing to all stakeholders to join hands with it to fight the canker of reckless driving on our roads. We at GIA remain committed to safety on our roads. The carnage on our roads must stop, and it starts with you...After all, every life matters.