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General News of Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Ghanaians must help achieve road safety agenda 2020

Ghanaians must help the National Road Safety Authority to achieve its agenda 2020 target of reducing fatal road crashes to the barest minimum.

Mr Tony Dickson, Tema Officer, National Road Safety Authority, making the call in a chat with the GNA, said the agenda was achievable if all made an effort because about 90 per cent of such crashes are due to human factors and errors.

He explained that road safety officials no longer referred to such road issues as accidents but rather crashes in accordance with the United Nation’s provisions which indicated that such crashes were preventable and therefore did not occur accidentally.

Mr Dickson revealed that road crashes accounted for at least 41 per cent of all leading deaths in Ghana, a situation he described as alarming and needed immediate intervention.

He disclosed that between January and June this year, a total of 1,252 fatal crashes involving 11,167 vehicles had been recorded and therefore stressed the need to reduce it drastically.

He called for the involvement of all stakeholders as he reminded the public that “you can be careful on the road but someone can be careless and crash you, therefore the need to involve everyone”.

He appealed to former assembly members, aspiring members, and opinion leaders to form road safety voluntary clubs in their vicinities to educate residents on the dangers of careless driving and other road-related issues.

The Tema Road Safety Officer said his outfit had the vision to make Tema zero fatal, zero crashes and zero injury area.

Mr Dickson revealed that in Tema, pedestrian knockdowns were very high as hawkers had taken over road walkways and medians forcing pedestrians to walk directly on the roads, resulting in knockdowns.

He, therefore, appealed to the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to clear the walkways of help save lives of pedestrians especially that of children.

He indicated that there were no easy crossing for school children making it very difficult for them to avoid such knockdowns and therefore called on authorities to create safer school zones by constructing speed ramps before and after every school as well as provide pedestrian crossing on roads near schools in the metropolis.

According to him, most drivers apprehended in Tema drove without the requisite license adding that unfortunately some assembly members and opinion leaders instead of advising them, ended up pleading for their release, an act he strongly advised against.

He observed that there were still some drinking spots in and near lorry stations in the Tema Metropolis which he attributed to drunk driving adding however that some of the commercial drivers had now shifted to use of tramadol and inhaling of fuel and glue which they claimed: “ gives us more strength to drive”.

He also called on the TMA and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to flush out commercial motorbike (Okada) riders who rode haphazardly, crossed vehicles anywhere, anytime leading to many crashes in and around the Metropolis.