The Deputy Minister of Communications, George N. Andah, has stated that the country is not only losing its human capital to road accident-related deaths, but productive lives are being rendered disabled due to serious injuries through avoidable accidents.
According to him, road traffic crashes have become one of the leading causes of death in older, children and economically active adults between the ages 30 and 49, indicating that 222 lives were lost in January 2020 alone.
“The above statistics show an average of seven deaths daily for the first month of 2020, from accidents mainly attributed to reckless driving. The deaths represent a 10% increase compared to the same period last year, which recorded 201 deaths. This is according to provisional data on road accidents from the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service for the 16 regions,” he indicated.
Delivering a statement in Parliament yesterday, Mr. Andah said road crashes as of 2019 accounted for at least 41 per cent of “all leading deaths in Ghana and this calls for immediate intervention.”
“Apart from the sorrow, grief and pain caused by crashes, economic reasons also necessitate the urgent need to reduce road traffic injuries. They consume massive financial and human resources that the country can ill-afford to lose,” he stated.
The deputy minister said there was a need to enforce laws rigorously in order to prevent the many road accidents, and asked for attention to be directed at the physical separation of pedestrians at the relevant and practical areas.
He noted that persons significantly affected were productive males aged above 18, and pointed out that the Central Region leads the pack with 48 deaths in 58 crashes, followed by the Ashanti Region with 38 deaths in 275 recorded cases.
“The number of motorcycles recorded in crashes was the lowest among the vehicles (428), yet there were 79 deaths and 352 injuries in accidents involving motor bikes, outstripping those of private vehicles. This calls for an intensive regulation of the activities of motorcycle and tricycle users for commercial purposes. In community areas, speed control measures to reduce the speeds of buses, minibuses end trucks must be strictly adhered to.
“Reduced driving speeds will lower the accident risks and crash severity. Police control of speed and drunk-driving must also be intensified on the rural highways to stem the high incidence of traffic fatalities and injuries on the roads in Ghana,” Mr. Andah said.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House