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24.05.2007 General News

MPs blame police, poor regulations for accidents

MPs blame police, poor regulations for accidents

Parliament is blaming the police and non adherence to simple road
regulations for the rampant road accidents in the country.

They called for the re-orientation and retraining of police personnel
to ensure that they do not end up just extorting money from drivers, but do work to provide the required protection for innocent travelers, bystanders and pedestrians.

The parliamentarians were contributing to a statement by Dr Paa Kwesi
Doom, Minister of Public Sector Reform on the recent road disasters on the Accra-Yamoranza highway.

The statement enjoyed bi-partisan support, reflecting the grave
situation of accidents on Ghana's roads which is reported to be the second highest killer after malaria.

Dr. Nduom noted that the disaster, which caused so many lives, was
preventable stressing that even though the new road is safer than the old one, indiscipline by users on one hand and inaction on the part of the Ghana Police has made it worse than before.

"In between," he explained, "the district assemblies in these areas
where accidents are prone do not seem concerned with the safety of travelers, but with collecting taxes from drivers and traders who ply their trade near the highway."

He noted that the country needed some changes and they must be made
quickly and urged the House and government to move towards implementation of stringent rules to save lives and property.

Dr Nduom suggested that the shoulders of the Accra-Yamoransa road have been cleared and the available space must be cleared, but is not wide enough.

He said: "It is not too late for the Ministry of Transportation to
create rest stops that are away from the highway. When this is done, it will allow vehicles in distress to drive to safety."

He condemned the high rate of indiscipline on the part of drivers and
traders on the road and insisted that the Police and the district assemblies stop traders from selling on the shoulders of the highway as pertains now at Kasoa, Winneba, Apam and Mankessim, among others.

Mr. Lee Ocran, NDC-Jomoro said people who come from the area are
getting increasingly worried because of the rate of accidents and called for a halt to reckless driving on the highway.

He called on the Committee on Transportation to take the matter up and advice the Minister on it.

Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, NPP-Mfantseman West supported strict
adherence to road regulations and called for the police to do a better job than they are doing.

"The police should be able to ensure that our drivers stick to the
regulations and speed limits."

The MP for Wa Central, Mr Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo said the situation was
not only restricted to the southern parts of the country, but the entire country and called for a holistic solution to the matter.

Mr Edward Doe-Adjaho, NDC-Ave Avenor asked the Minister of Public
Sector Reform to come out with proposals for reforming current road regulations, arguing that since he was part of the executive, "it is not too late for the Minister to come out with something that takes us beyond making a statement on the floor or Parliament."

Source: GNA