Takoradi, March 23, GNA - Mrs Mary Obiri-Yeboah, Manager of the Planning and Education Unit of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) said five people die everyday, while a person dies every five hours through road accidents nationwide. She said out of 42 per cent of pedestrians involved in accidents, 25 per cent of them are children below 16 years.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said these at a day's forum on road traffic education at Takoradi. It was organised by the Western Regional Office of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Wednesday. She said people aged between 15 and 60 years, who were the bread-winners of their families constituted 67 per cent of accident victims. "This implies that Ghana is loosing majority of its economically active population to road accidents," she added.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said the Western Region recorded 1,346 accidents, made up of 158 deaths and 1,188 injuries with pedestrians constituting 51.9 per cent in 2004. She, therefore, called for a serious campaign, aimed at educating pedestrians on the proper usage of the road to save their lives. Mrs Obiri-Yeboah stressed that pedestrian accidents had led to premature injuries, handicaps and was regarded as the most serious health risk facing children in most countries. She said since 2001, over 1,500 school children and 20,000 selected teachers have been trained in road safety to prepare them for the future.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah advised parents to teach their children the rules of road crossing and other basic road safety measures to equip them in the use of the road. She urged drivers to be cautious, patient with school children, respect speed limits and use their seat belts regularly. Mrs Annie Vivian Antwi, a resource person of the NRSC said drivers should be careful when driving during the rainy season, adding that, poor weather conditions, disregard for pedestrians and other road users could result in road accidents. She appealed to drivers to assist school children to use pedestrian walkways, pavements to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths.
Mr Philip K. Nkrumah, Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive said the assembly had spent several millions of cedis in providing pavements, parking bays and lots and pedestrian crossings in the metropolis. He said these measures were meant to make movement of school children easier. Mr Nkrumah said some residents had begun using the pavements for parking and appealed to the Police to arrest such offenders.