Takoradi, Nov. 28, GNA - As a result of strict enforcement of safety regulations and intensified public education, road accidents in the Western Region have considerably been reduced, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Regional Minister has said.
He also noted that many drivers, particularly those in the Shama Ahanta East Metropolis now observe road traffic signs and regulations, which include the use of seat belts.
Launching the National Road Safety Week in the region at a forum in Takoradi on Monday, he commended the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Police Service, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and other stakeholders for the "success story".
Since 1991, it was only in the third quarter of 2005 that Western Region recorded a single digit in fatality or death in road accidents. Mr Aidoo, however, asked all institutions connected with road safety education, not to be complacent with the progress so far made, but continue to work even harder to ensure that accidents were reduced to the barest minimum.
On the national front, Mr Aidoo expressed his disgust at the havoc that road accidents cause to the people and said it would not be an exaggeration to say that road accidents were now competing with HIV/AIDS in the killing of their victims indiscriminately.
The Regional Minister provided statistics to support the extent of carnage on the country's roads and said the most disturbing aspects of these accidents were that, most of them occur at spots, where the roads were relatively good.
Mr Aidoo called for diligence on the part of all road users as Christmas approaches.
Mr Kofi Duku-Arthur, Western Regional chairman of the Road Safety Commission stressed the need for collaborative efforts by all stakeholders to further reduce the number of accidents on the roads. He said road safety situation in the region was "much better" as compared to other regions in the country, an indication that, results of strategies adopted by the MTTU and the NRSC on public education and law enforcement was being achieved.
He mentioned drunk driving, abuse of speed limits, and poor condition of vehicles, defective lights and the use of worn-out lorry tyres among others, as the causes of accidents.
Osabarima Kow Ntsie II, Omanhene of Mpohor Traditional Area, who presided, called for the organisation of periodic workshops for drivers and other road users to update and refresh their knowledge on safety signs and regulations.
This he said would help to reverse the unenviable position of the country, as one of the worse accident-prone countries in the world.