Kumasi, Nov. 28, GNA - The Ashanti Region has between January and September this year, recorded 269 deaths through road accidents, with 1,943 others sustaining various degrees of injuries.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, who announced this, said, however that, the 2004 records showed that 452 people were killed, while 2,317 others sustained serious injuries in motor accidents.
Mr Boafo, who was launching the Ashanti Regional Road Safety Week in Kumasi on Monday said, the accident rate this year was no different from what happened or occurred in 2004. He said, "If this trend remains unchecked, road accidents will soon take over from malaria and AIDS, as the number one killer in Ghana".
The Minister was not happy that penalties associated with careless driving that resulted in deaths were so lenient that they did not deter drivers from being careless on the roads.
"The punishment from the courts should be so harsh that it would deter from driving recklessly", he advocated Mr Boafo said it was not only regrettable, but also embarrassing to hear that "Ghana featured prominently in the list of countries that had a significant number of its citizens dying through motor accidents". He noted that, in the past, this dreadful phenomenon occurred when we were getting to Christmas, but of late, accidents have become pronounced throughout the year with its associated deaths and injuries".
Chief Superintendent Augustine Gyenin, Ashanti Regional Commander of the Police Motor Traffic Transport Unit (MTTU), reminded drivers of the need to avoid tainting glasses of their vehicles, and also pasting unnecessary papers on the front and rear windscreens of their vehicles as it is a traffic offence.