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14.09.2004 General News

Executive to initiate a comprehensive Road Traffic Bill

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Ho, Sept. 14, GNA - Dr Richard Anane, Minister for Roads and Transport, on Tuesday announced that the Executive would initiate a Road Traffic Bill with considerable provisions for efficient road safety policy to improve the transport sector. He said there was a decline in the fatality rate from 31 deaths per 10,000 vehicles to the current 27 deaths per 10,000 vehicles since the inauguration of the National Road Safety Commission in 2001.

Dr Anane, who was speaking at a two-day National workshop on Road Safety Management and Review of 2004 Programmes in Ho, said the government was committed to initiating positive measures towards road safety and achieving a single-digit fatality rate. He said government would next year inaugurate the remaining five permanent Regional Road Safety Co-ordinators in the Northern, Upper East and West, Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions towards the improvement of road safety co-ordination. Dr Anane expressed regret that between January-June, this year, more than 700 people died in road accidents and more than 4,000 people got injured. He, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to support government's efforts at preventing road accidents and said the authorities were improving the institutional and technical capacities of all stakeholders implementing the National Road Safety Action Plan (NRSAP).

Dr Anane said the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) would be provided with four heavy-duty trucks, a quantity of radar guns, breathanalysers and reflective vest and road safety auditing would be integrated into all major road schemes. He said: "We can and must reverse the unacceptably high level of road accidents, with commitment, passion and hard work from stakeholders. We must admit that accidents are largely caused by the human factor and not an act of God, they are preventable". Dr Anane said an effective and focused road user education, enforcement of traffic regulations and road effective safety measures, "holds the key to assuaging the carnage on our roads".

Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister, said the identified worst accident spots in the region were located on portions of the Tema-Aflao and Asikuma-Hohoe-Dambai road networks. He said the Tema-Aflao road network placed 33rd position amongst the worst 50 accident proned locations in the country, according to studies conducted by the Bureau of Road Research Institute (BRRI) in Kumasi recently. Mr Owusu-Yeboa appealed to the Ministry to facilitate arrangements being made for the creation of the Department of Urban Roads in the newly created Ho Municipal Assembly and urged the NRSC to support the establishment of District Road Safety Committees in the region.

Mr Duku Kofi Arthur, Volta Regional Police Commander, said road accidents increased to 284 in 2003 from 253 in 2002 (with a 10.9 per cent increment) while casualties decreased to 42 in 2003 from 64 in 2002 recording 3.4 per cent.

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