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18.03.2009 Regional News

Scores die through accidents in Eastern Region last year

By GNA

The Eastern Region last year recorded 1,162 motor traffic accidents involving 1,642 vehicles, out of which 245 died.

Police Superintendent James Sarfo Peprah, the Eastern Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit(MTTU), said at a durbar organized by the police under the team “Curbing road traffic accidents-the role of stakeholders” in Koforidua on Wednesday that 1,465 people were injured.

The durbar was attended by representatives of all transport unions in the region including representatives of drivers who do not belong to any union or organized group, the Regional Head of Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (D.V.L.A.), assembly members, personnel of MTTU and members of the Eastern Regional Road Safety Committee.

Mr Peprah said the previous year the region recorded 1,307 accidents involving 1,570 vehicles in, which 1,568 persons were injured with 215 people losing their lives.

He said the situation called for a lot of education for drivers on how to drive to avoid accidents.

The Eastern Regional Police Commander, Mr George Anko-Bill, said after March 31, the regional police command would strictly enforce the motor traffic laws to help curb road accidents.

He called on drivers to appreciate their role in the socio-economic development of the country and co-operate with other stakeholders to help stop the slaughter on the roads.

Mr Anko-Bill called on the leadership of transport unions and operators to co-operate with the law enforcement agents to weed out recalcitrant drivers who break the motor traffic regulations and create problems on the roads.

Mr Stephen Anokye, the Regional Road Safety Manager, said his organization, in co-operation with the various drivers unions, would close drinking spots at lorry parks in the region as a way of helping to curb drunk driving.

He said arrangement had been made for a private towing company to help tow vehicles that break down on the roads.

During an open forum, the drivers called for the creation of compulsory rest stops along the highways for long distance vehicles.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Mr James Cudjoe, appealed to the police and the DVLA to put the motor traffic laws and regulations on CD in local language so that the illiterate drivers could buy and learn from it.

He said the GPRTU was prepared to help in the selling and distribution of the CDs.

Mr Cudjoe also appealed to radio stations to devote part of the dawn preaching on their radio stations to educate drivers on road traffic laws and regulations to help reduce accidents.

He called on the road agencies to rehabilitate the shoulders of the roads that had been washed away by the rains and fill pot holes.

GNA

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