Remains of Techiman tanker explosion Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that 205 people met their untimely deaths last year through road accidents in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Provisional statistics released by the National Road Safety Commission and confirmed by the CID indicated that road accidents in the region went up by 50, representing over 32 percent increase in the total cases reported in 2007 where 155 people died from road crashes.
In all, 560 accident cases were reported across the region in 2008, involving 722 vehicles with 734 victims suffering various degrees of injury.
Interestingly, December, the month in which last year's general elections were held, recorded the least accident cases of 27.
However, October registered the highest figure of 64, closely followed by June during which 62 cases were recorded.
However, the regional command of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service has given conflicting figures regarding motor accidents in the region.
According to the Regional Commander of the MTTU, ASP Paul Wesley Baah, his outfit recorded 315 road accidents last year, of which 72 were fatal, 67 serious cases, 176 minor cases, 108 killed as well as a total of 457 persons getting injured.
He underscored the need for all road users to strictly observe road signs and markings since that was the only way to reduce traffic crashes.
He identified over-speeding, the non-use of safety devices such as seatbelts and crash helmets, and the non-observance of road markings and signs as the major causes of road accidents in the region.
ASP Baah stated the intention of the Police Service to fully enforce all road safety laws to reverse the negative trend.
In an interaction with the Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Daniel Wuaku, he expressed concern about the increase in traffic accidents in the region.
He called on all road users to behave responsibly, saying, “as our transportation system ages, the use of many existing roadways have changed as well and we need to change too as road users.”
On the way forward, Mr. Wuaku stated, among others, that the NRSC intends to intensify its educational activities for drivers, school children and the general public as well as collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure safety on the roads.
The Coordinator therefore appealed to motorists to reduce speed since it is a major cause of road accidents, explaining that speed decides the safety level in an accident and therefore keeping to the posted speed limits will significantly reduce the number of road accidents.
However, residents interviewed by this paper have raised serious concerns about the rise in accident rates in the region.
They have therefore called on the authorities responsible for ensuring safety on the road to intensify road safety education to help arrest the situation.
From Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani