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Regional News of Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Sleeping driver plunges passengers into river in Upper East region

A bus driver who seduced danger by sleeping whilst his hands were on a steering wheel on a highway in the Upper East region got what to expect when he ended up opening his eyes inside a river runway with all passengers on board.

The driver, whose identity is yet to be established, was among several injured persons pulled out from the horrifying wreck Monday along the Nakong-Tumu road.

A short while after the disaster had struck, an ambulance and a taxi raced to the crowded scene to convey the affected travellers to faraway Navrongo War Memorial Hospital. A temporary closure of two crumbling bridges at Buipe and Yapei for maintenance in the Northern region has resulted in an engulfing traffic pressure on the Nakong-Tumu-Wa Road which connects nearby Upper East and Upper West regions together.

“The driver was sleeping, carrying some passengers. I believe he was tired. He was coming from Mampong in the Ashanti region. He had to use the Wa Road to Bolga. Nobody would have realised there was a bus where he ran into. It was just God’s intervention. You can’t even see the top of the vehicle,” a travelling official of the Tumu Audit Service, Ibrahim Azumah, told Starr News.

He added: “It skidded off the road into a river [course]. There is another articulated truck that has also skidded off the same road. One part of the trailer is on the road and the head is inside the bush. Authorities need to caution drivers. The road is extremely busy now.”

43 persons killed in road crashes in Upper East

The most recent provisional statistics compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) and made available to Starr News by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) show that 43 persons were killed in 153 road crashes recorded in the Upper East region from January to September, this year.

The same period saw 240 vehicles involved in road crash and 117 persons injured, according to road safety authorities.

“From January to December, last year, we lost 61 lives to road crashes in the region,” said NRSC’s Upper East Regional Manager, Mohammed Atilado, in a Starr News interview. “We are praying that we shouldn’t get up to 61 this year.”

Whilst pointing at speeding as the foremost cause of road crash in the region, Mr. Atilado urged drivers to always stick to the Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 which enjoins motorists to “rest after every 8 hours” on the road.

“Most of the drivers violate this rule and, therefore, these are the accidents we get on our roads. Another factor is drink driving. You can’t drive when you are about to embark on a journey. You would cause a lot of problems. If we could control speed, we would avoid at least 80% of the accidents we see on our roads,” he said.

NRSC to carry out Christmas Road Safety Programme

An outreach programme to ensure road traffic safety as Christmas approaches is being scheduled to be carried out across the region, according to the NRSC.

“We are approaching Christmas. And you know during the Christmas season, drink driving gets too common. We are coming up with programmes to protect lives. We would want to go to communities and talk to them as to what to do as Christmas is at hand.

“We also would want to caution pedestrians to wear clothes that are bright enough for them to be seen especially at night and to minimise their drinking habits. We want to see everybody alive before and after Christmas,” Mr Atilado stated.

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