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Regional News of Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Western Region GJA partners three institutions to end road accidents

The Western Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has partnered three institutions to embark on a road safety campaign ahead of the yuletide.

From January to date, hundreds of accident cases have been recorded across the country with about 2,000 lives lost and the Western Region accounting for more than 97 lives.

The primary focus of the campaign is to educate drivers, transport owners, communities, and pedestrians to observe rules and regulations on the road and prevent the frequent accidents.

The collaboration

The Road Safety Commission, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), and the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service are part of this campaign.

The first phase of the exercise is part of the broader campaign and the team would consider accident-prone communities in the region until the end of January 2019.

The second phase - the medium term programme, targets various institutions, and will commence in March next year.

Members of the haulage truck drivers’ union and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and other transport unions in Sekondi/Takoradi were the first to be addressed to mark the beginning of the campaign.

Shared responsibly

The Western Regional Chairman of the GJA, Mr M. Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu, said the campaign against the carnage on the roads must be seen as a shared responsibility.

Mr Aklorbortu, who is also the Regional Correspondent of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, said the Ghanaian would feel comfortable and safe if drivers continue to observe basic safety rules and regulations governing the transport industry.

"We must all observe safety regulations and prevent the needless accidents on our roads. The campaign against the carnage remains a shared responsibility. All hands must be on deck. Already we have lost many lives this year and therefore we must prevent the occurrence of accidents to save precious lives", Mr Aklorbortu added.

Avoidable mistakes

Chief Superintendent Richard Appiah, the Western Regional Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) Commander attributed the increased road accidents in the region to avoidable mistakes that were committed by drivers and commuters.

He mentioned speeding, wrongful overtaking, improper parking, fatigue, driving under the influence of alcohol, overloading, poor vision and poorly maintained vehicles used for commercial activities.

Nana Akua Ansaah Cobbina, acting Western Regional Head of the Road Safety Commission, described the current statistics of road accidents and traffic offences in the region as alarming and unacceptable.

She called on commercial drivers to ensure sanity on the roads.

Partnership

The acting regional head described the existing partnership between the stakeholders in the fight against road accidents as laudable.

Some of the drivers who interacted with the team indicated that extortions by policemen, DVLA officials and city guards were a challenge to them.

The drivers also complained that unjustifiable arrests by police officers at check points, undue delays in processing of documentation at the DVLA office and the poor road network affect their daily operations.