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General News of Thursday, 28 March 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Passengers mostly to blame for road accidents - Drivers

Drivers in Ghana have laid blame of road accidents on passengers due to the incessant pressure they give to them whilst driving.

According to the drivers, passengers often bombard them with insults when they fail to speed to their satisfaction.

In doing the bid of the passengers, the drivers over speed to avoid all sorts of insults and name-calling.

Recalling some of the names and insults given to them, the one driver said “One time, I drove from here to Kintampo. A woman told me to stop driving as a profession and work on something else because I’m a slow driver. She told me bluntly to my face that I should work on the farm because driving isn’t meant for me”.

“Most of the causes are from passengers, they hate it when a different car bypasses them and they will be putting pressure on you, the car is too slow, can’t you speed, we’ve sat in the car for too long, why haven’t we reached our destination yet. So they put too much pressure on us,” another revealed.

The drivers further indicated that sometimes the passengers also talk to them in harsh tones, which angers them; reason they often ignore the cries of passengers when they complain on a bus.

They further called on government to implement a policy that will ensure two drivers stay on a bus for long trips so as to relieve the other when tired.

According to them, tiredness is also a factor of road accidents.

They are therefore pleading with government to implement this policy and bring to law so car owners will be obliged to get two drivers for their buses.

They believe doing this will help reduce the number of accidents on our roads.



Background

On Friday 22nd March 2019, about 90 people were confirmed dead in two separate accidents in the Bono East and Central Regions.

A gory head-on collision at Amoma Nkwanta near Jema in the Kintampo South District of the Bono East Region killed about 55 passengers (where 35 were burnt beyond recognition) and injured dozens.

Also at Ekumfi Abor on the Winneba-Cape Coast Highway in the Central Region, more than 30 people feared dead in an accident which involved a Yutong bus travelling from Takoradi to Accra and a Metro Mass bus heading towards Cape Coast.

Body parts littered the scene just as blood ran everywhere with the injured rushed to the Winneba Trauma Hospital and the Mankessim Catholic Hospital while the bodies of the deceased were deposited at the morgue of the same hospitals.

Although Ghana’s roads are considered one of the safest on the continent, the absence of dual-carriage roads leading to major towns and cities have been cited as a contributing factor to crashes, a lot of them resulting in fatalities.

A number of the cases recorded are also due to carelessness on the part of drivers while many others are caused by mechanical faults.

Estimates show that Ghana loses over 230 million dollars yearly due to road accidents. The loss correlates to 1.7% of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

The NRSC announced in 2010 that there were 19 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in Ghana. Statistics showed that 43% of the fatalities involved pedestrians and 53% involved occupants of vehicles. And 23% of all pedestrian fatalities involved children below the age of 16 years.

According to the NRSC, the major cause of road accidents in Ghana is due to excessive speeding. This accounts for 60% of car crashes in the country.