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General News | Apr 6, 2004

Carnage On Our Roads

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The Ghana Private Roads Transport Union (GPRTU) and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), have expressed grave concern about recent spate of fatal accidents on the country's road.

They noted that although they had organized a series of educational campaigns for drivers, accidents continued to occur. Within one week, three accidents, one on the Kumasi-Obuasi road, another on the Mankranso Tepa Road and the third involving a Toyota Hiace travelling from Keta to Accra have claimed 52 lives. Speaking in an interview in Accra on April 5, the General Secretary of GPRTU, Mr. Stephen. Okudzeto said being a union controlling 90 per cent of road transport in the country, “we feel depressed about recent reports of road accidents in the country.

Mr. Okudzeto blamed most of the accidents on human factor and reiterated the appeal to drivers to be extra careful behind the steering wheels. He said since drivers had transportation of human being as a business, the success of the business will depend on how safe they were able to transport such people to and from their destination.

He announced that the union would apart from intensifying its educational campaign, form monitoring groups at all stations to ensure that only experienced drivers were allowed to embark on long journeys. Mr. Noel Arcton-Tettey, the information officer of the NRSC, who also expressed similar sentiments, said the recent accidents had exposed the incompetence and lack of skills on the part of most drivers on the roads.

He said the commission was liaising with the motor traffic and transport unit and other transport organizations to organize a joint educational programme for the drivers. He called for the enforcement of road regulations to deter drivers from recklessness.

“I believe if custodian sentences can be slapped on drivers or they are made to go back to the classroom, we will be somewhere to mitigate the carnage on our road, he said.

Mr. Arcton-Tettey said most of the accidents happened on good roads because drivers moved on such road without studying them and said sometimes too the accidents happened as a result of youthful exuberance. He said statistics indicated that at least six ole die in road accidents daily in the county and that 70 per cent of such accidents occur on straight and flat roads.

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