Kumasi, April.19, GNA - Ghana spends one trillion cedis annually on road accident victims and other issues related to road accidents in the country.
The amount constitutes two per cent of the total annual national expenditure of the country.
Dr Richard Wilberforce Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, made this known at an open forum organised by the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) in Kumasi, on Sunday. He said 120,000 road accident cases were recorded between 1993 and 2003.
Out of this 15,000 victims died, 50,000 were maimed while 70,000 others were injured in the accidents.
Dr Anane, said while vehicle population continued to increase in the country, road accidents also increased and warned that, if care was not taken, by 2010 when vehicle population in the country would reach 1.2 million, road accidents would claim about 12,000 lives within the same period.
The current vehicle population in the country is 700,000. He said drivers played a critical role in the socio-economic development of the nation since commercial, industrial and agricultural activities depended largely on road transportation.
Dr Anane, therefore, advised drivers to be extra careful and ensure greater discipline on the roads to reduce the carnage, which brought pain, agony and economic loss to families, relatives and the nation as a whole.
He said his Ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that all transport unions in the country were allocated portions of all lorry parks in the country. Dr Anane said, his ministry was also reviewing the nation's road traffic ordinance, which was passed in 1952 to bring it in conformity with modern road and transport operations, and appealed to all transport unions in the country to send in their views on the proposed bill to ensure that, it was acceptable to all parties when it became a law. Mr Noble Appiah, Chief Executive of the National Road Safety Commission, said the Ashanti Region is currently leading in road accident cases in the country.
He attributed the frequent road accidents to excessive speeding, wrong overtaking, drunk driving and lack of effective control and monitoring of drivers by their various unions. Mr Appiah, urged drivers to exercise extra caution while on the road.
Mr M.A. Appiah, National Chairman of PROTOA, called on the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to brake the monopoly of the GPRTU on the use of lorry terminals and allocate portions to all transport unions to ensure fairness in the transport industry. 19 April 04