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General News of Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Law enforcement alone won't stop frequent accidents - Police

The Motor Traffic Transport Department [MTTD] has explained the solution to recurring accidents at similar locations is not law enforcement.

He said accidents persist despite police enforcement, but happening on single carriage roads at same spots frequently calls for dualization of affected roads.

Head of Education Research and Training at the Motor Traffic Transport Department [MTTD] of the Ghana Police Service was referring to the accidents on the N1 and N6 last Friday which jointly claimed 62 lives with several others still nursing their injuries in hospitals.

Kintampo Divisional Police Commander, ACP Joseph Antwi Gyawu, told Joy News Bono East Region Correspondent, Anas Sabbit that 35 of the deceased could not be identified.

While expressing his “condolence to families who lost relatives” and speedily recovery to those still in the hospitals,” Suprintendent Alexander Kwaku Obeng pointed to a trend in these accidents, which is engineering in nature: dualisation of key roads.

Speaking on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Tuesday he argued “These road accidents occurred on strategic road networks, which constitute the spine of road networks in Ghana.”

“The N1 from Elubo to Aflao, where the accidents occurred in Ekumfi between Apam and Mankessim which is a single carriage road.

“And on the same day the other one happened on the N6 that departs from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Paga and empties unto the N10 between Techiman and Kintampo at Ampomah Krome junction. This is also a single carriage.

“These are not isolated because prior to these current ones they have been happening. It is an annual affair. And they are happening on the same stretches and same spots. This happens not on sections of the road, which are dualized, but sessions which are supposed to be dualized but have not been,” he said.

Illustrating his position further he said countries which have dualized have not done so because they are rich. According to him it is the quest to save lives and to also bolster economic development.

In the case of Ghana, he asserted the roads in question link not just the rest of the country to the capital for trade and business but also it links traders from neighboring countries who come to the country for business purposes.

Obeng also said even though the refrain has been “no funds” when it comes to expanding the road network, he is, however, urging for longterm planning and budgeting for which should begin now. According to him not planning towards the situation now will mean the problem will persist.

Since Friday’s disaster government has announced a number of measures hoped at forstalling future occurrences.

President Nana Akufo-Addo speaking within hours of the incident on Friday morning, sympathised with the families and challenged the Police Council to regulate road traffic.

Government is also dedicating ¢1 billion to fix traffic lights, erect road signs and paint defaced road markings to improve road safety.

This is part of the recommendation by the inter-ministerial committee set up by President Akufo-Addo last year to look into the increasing cases of carnages on the country’s roads.

The committee also recommended that ¢6.5 million be allocated to the National Road Safety Commission for public education and training.

Executive Director of the Commission May Obiri-Yeboah told journalists Sunday that her outfit has started implementing the recommendations.

“The Report recommended the following:

1) Transformation of the National Road Safety Commission (NSRC) to an Authority and budgetary support of ¢6.50 Million for the Commission to scale up public education/sensitization and training,

2) Request for approval of a proposal by the Ghana Police Service to enable the MTTD to:

a) Deploy Traffic Cameras Systems to detect and apprehend speed, red-light and related traffic offences, and

b) Remove disabled vehicles from the road,

3) Request for an amount of ¢1,05 billion for the road agencies, Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Urban Roads and Department of Feeder Roads to clear the backlog of road signs, road-line markings, traffic signal lights and crash barriers on the national road network,” she said.

By a letter dated April 16, 2018, the President granted Executive Approval for the proposed working solutions.

Well, the NRSC Director said there is an action plan in place.

Some of the actions include Cabinet granting approval of the Memorandum to transform the National Road Safety Commission to National Road Safety Authority and the Ghana Road Fund releasing ¢6.50 Million to NRSC in full, among others.