A total of 478 persons were killed in road accidents between January and October this year in the Ashanti Region, the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) has disclosed.
The figure indicates a 21 per cent increase in the number of road accident deaths recorded within the same period in 2020, which stood at 396.
According to the MTTD, out of the deaths recorded for this year, 393 were males and 85 were females and the accidents involved a total of 4, 589 vehicles with 3,021 injuries.
Superintendent Emmanuel Adu Boahen, the Regional Police MTTD Commander, said the total pedestrian knockdowns stood at 562.
This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at the commemoration of this year’s ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims,’ held on the theme: “Act for Low Speed”, in Kumasi.
The programme was organized by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Partnership for Healthy Cities and Vital Strategies, all global initiatives.
Other key organizations contributing to the programme were the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and the Police MTTD.
The purpose of the Day is to remember those killed and injured on the roads, together with their families, friends and others affected.
It was started by the British road crash victim charity, RoadPeace, in 1993 and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005.
Superintendent Adu Boahen said this year’s theme: “Act for Low Speeds”, was appropriate as it had the potential to prevent many deaths and serious injuries, especially those of pedestrians and all other vulnerable road users like children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
He indicated that about 90 per cent of road accidents emanated from human error, citing some offences such as speeding, wrongful overtaking, drink-driving, the use of mobile phones while driving and substance abuse, among others.
The Regional Police MTTD Commander cautioned road users to abide strictly by motor traffic rules and regulations to ensure that accidents were reduced to the barest minimum.
Mr Sam Pyne, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), in a speech read on his behalf, reminded stakeholders that promoting road safety was a shared responsibility.
Consequently, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) would continue to engage stakeholders to explore more practicable ways of minimizing road crashes and related effects on society.
The KMA, he said, had over the years been partnering with the Bloomberg Philanthropies to create awareness on the need for the people to act responsibly while using the road.
“This sort of education is going to be intensified as we get closer to the Christmas festivities,” the MCE assured.
Dr Akosua Gyimah Omari-Sasu, the Metropolitan Director of Health, said road accidents were a threat to humanity and society’s progress.
She called for increased efforts in sensitizing the citizenry to be careful when using the road to save lives.
Other key personalities contributing to the programme included Dr Gertrude Aquah-Hagan, Clinical Care Coordinator, Suntreso Government Hospital, as well as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Richmond Akwasi Yeboah, Suntreso District Police Commander.
In their presentations, they stressed the need for road users to stop breaching motor traffic regulations, which were responsible for the recurrent road crashes in society.