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18.10.2005 General News

Ministry designs National Accident Management system

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Accra, Oct.18, GNA - The Ministry of Road Transport and the Building and Road Research Institute are working to develop a National Accident Management System to provide a better representation of the accident distribution in the country.

The system will also improve the development of policies and programmes aimed at addressing road safety issues.

Addressing journalists at Meet the Press series in Accra on Tuesday, Minister of Road Transport Dr Richard Anane said the high spate of accidents on the country's roads was a major concern to government, especially when 60 per cent of road fatalities involve people working in the productive segment aged between 18 and 55 years.

It was in this connection that government developed the five-year National Road safety Strategy and Action Plan for the period 2001-2005 with the aim to break the trend in road traffic accidents. The Minister said although the key target of the strategy was to reduce road accidents by five per cent, statistics at the end of 2004 showed a 24 per cent reduction in the fatality rate.

"There has been a steady reduction in road motor traffic fatalities per 10,000 vehicles from a high of 31 in 2001 to 23.6 in 2004," the Minister said.

Dr Anane said the old Road Traffic Regulations were being reviewed to conform to the new Road Traffic Act 683, which provided for mandatory wearing of seatbelts, child restraints, the installation of speed limiters in public service vehicles and the spot fines to be exacted by the Police.

He said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority would step up the promotion of good driving standards and the use of roadworthy vehicles. Besides that the Road Agencies would also continue with road safety audits and take pre-emptive actions as basis for ensuring that vehicles and pedestrians use the road facilities safely.

The Minister said through audit undertaken by the Road Agencies forty hazardous locations, which had gained notoriety for fatal accidents had been identified.

They include Asiakwa, Potroase, Asikuma Junction and Nobewan. "The identified sections on the Accra-Kumasi corridor have been redesigned and or reconstructed to remove the hazards," Dr Anane added.

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