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13.07.2005 General News

Using mobile phone while driving is an offence


Tema, July 13, GNA - Alhaji Mustapha Garbah, Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of the Road Safety Commission on Tuesday stated categorically that it is an offence for drivers to speak on mobile phones while driving.

He said the law does not allow the practice, because it tends to distract attention of drivers, which is likely to cause accidents and warned that any driver caught would be dealt with according to the law. Alhaji Garbah, who chaired the launching of a road safety educational programme, organised by "Safe Roads for Us" an NGO in collaboration with National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) for pupils of Lorenze Wolf Primary and JSS School at Tema, he said it is equally a criminal offence for adults to allow children under 12 to cross roads all on their own. In order to observe traffic regulations to the letter, he urged the public to get copies of the road guides to read and be conversant with it. According to him, a move to introduce patrol teams, who will be provided with special dresses to direct traffic to guide school children, is in the offing, saying that, the measure has become necessary in view of the frequent accidents involving children.

In an address, Mrs May Obiri Yeboah, Manager in charge of Planning/Education of the NRSC, said the Commission with support of stakeholders has developed a five-year national road safety strategy and action plan to break the upward trend in road accidents.

In this direction, it is establishing a nationwide education for school children, since pedestrians below 16 years account for a major part of 25 per cent of road fatalities in the country, hence the intensification of the education to reduce the trend.

She said 348 persons died through motor accidents and 2,885 persons injured in the first quarter of the year, which is unacceptable as it cost the country so much.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ASP) Mrs Alice Gyamfi said court fines, totalling 298 million cedis, was imposed on 596 drivers, who were prosecuted for traffic offences.

She appealed to the Tema Municipal Assembly to adopt the Regional Road Safety Committee to enable it play its proper role.

She said 302 accidents involving 382 vehicles killed 23 persons and 149 injured in the first and second quarter of the year. In a welcoming address, Mrs Rebecca Asembri, Executive Director of the "Safe Roads for Us" deplored the practice of residents of some communities constructing unauthorised speed ramps, as some are wrongfully sited and cause accidents.