Koforidua, April 23, GNA - The acting Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr Noble Appiah, has asked the Regional Road Safety Committees to set up road accident prevention advocacy groups to challenge motorists to attain higher standards as part of measures to help reduce the country's poor road accident record.
To this end, he asked them to target women and children who suffer most from the consequences of the rampant road accidents through the lose of their "bread-winners."
Mr Appiah, who was addressing a meeting of the Eastern Regional Road safety Committee at Koforidua on Friday as part of a day's visit to the region, commended the Committee for its innovative programmes which led to the reduction of road accidents in the region last year.
He said statistics indicated that road accidents were the third cause of deaths in the country while over 50 per cent of the accident victims were pedestrians of between 16 and 45 years hence the committee's public education forums should also target pedestrians. Mr Appiah announced the appointment of regional co-ordinators of the various Regional Road safety Committees to ensure the effective collaboration of the activities of the committees.
He noted that the country's high rate of road accidents was likely to affect the tourism promotion and stressed the need for concerted efforts to improve the situation and assured the committee of the provision of adequate logistics to facilitate their work. The National Chairman of the Commission, Mr Johnson Aboagye, asked members of the committee to consider their assignment at a vocation for the protection of human life and urged them to do all they could to prevent the lose of lives through road accidents, most of which were preventable.
He asked the various transport organisations to unite to check all road motorists from abusing the road traffic regulations with impunity instead of fighting among themselves while the personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit(MTTU) of the Police Service should not discriminate in the arrest of motor traffic offenders "since roads accident is no respecter of persons."
The chairman of the Eastern Regional Road Safety Committee, Mr Vincent Kwaky Dzakpata, in his welcome address stated that while the region recorded 254 accidents cases resulting in 22 deaths and 159 serious injuries involving 262 vehicles in the first quarter of last year, it had within the same period recorded 418 accidents with 45 deaths involving 536 vehicles as at March this year.
He attributed the situation to indiscipline on the part of drivers, saying this had indicated that there should be no complacency when the accident rate goes down but they should intensify their activities, especially road checks.
Mr Isaac Nkrumah who is chairman of the public education sub-committee, announced that among its activities last year, the committee organised quiz competition among basic schools and met with drivers of public offices to identify their problems.