22.09.2005 General News

Ghana is NOT accident-prone

22.09.2005 LISTEN

Accra, Sept. 22, GNA - The National Road Safety Commission says Ghana is not the third most accident-prone country in the world as is being speculated.

Mr Noble Appiah, Acting Executive Director, National Road Safety Commission, briefing newsmen in Accra on Thursday on the current spate of road accidents said, the country did not even fall within the 50th country with high rate of accidents.

He dismissed the allegation as untrue saying it did not give the country a healthy international outlook as it had the tendency of scaring potential investors away.

Mr Appiah explained that it was possible that people have confused the World Health Organisation's projection that road accident was likely to be the third cause of death in the world by 2020.

He said the recent carnage on the road was an unfortunate phenomenon and unprecedented in road safety management and all manner of reasons had been given to explain the occurrence of these traffic accidents.

"Some have given it spiritual connotations while others have blamed it on Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Police Service; Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and other statutory road safety agencies."

It, should, be noted that the current accidents occurred on good roads and that it could be attributed to reckless driving and refusal of drivers to adhere to simple road regulations.

Mr Appiah said about 90 per cent of road accidents were preventable and that if all commuters played their part effectively the menace could be minimized adding, "road safety is not the preserve of only statutory authorities but it is the responsibility of all road users. He appealed to transport organisations as a matter of urgency to put in place internal mechanisms to complement the work of road traffic enforcement agencies to reduce accidents.

Mr Appiah said the transport operators should ensure that they inspected driving licences, checked status of vehicles roadworthiness, alcohol intake by drivers and educating them on pertinent safety tips. He said statistics indicated that fatigue was responsible for 25 per cent of road accidents and that drivers should be enlightened on the benefit of resting after driving after every four hours.

Mr Victor Tandoh, Commander of MTTU, appealed to the Accra GPRTU to replicate open registers that had already begun in Kumasi. He warned that the Unit would begin effective implementation of traffic rules and that offenders would face the full rigors of the law.

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