Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, Director General of National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) on Thursday said Ghana recorded about 2,080 avoidable deaths of road accidents and 12,380 injuries of various kinds between January and October this year.
She said the Authority’s preliminary investigations pointed to non-compliance with road traffic regulations as the cause of the crashes and its resultant deaths and injuries.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said this at a Road Safety workshop organised for Imams in Accra on the theme; “Road Safety Leadership in Communities,” which aims at building the capacity Imams to become road safety advocates in their communities and respective areas of influence.
She said incidence of crashes involving motorcycle riders and passengers was rising, adding, between January and October, a total of 827 people were killed from motorcycle crashes while 3,802 were injured.
She said the effects of the crashes were way beyond the victims; spouses, children and that families bore the dire social and economic cost associated with the accidents.
Mrs Obiri–Yeboah said the Muslim Community in Ghana had played an important part of the nation’s efforts to ensure sanity on the roads.
“We recognize in particular, the influential role of the Islamic faith and leadership in ensuring the safety of Muslims and humanity in general,” she said.
She said Shaikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam was decorated as the Road Safety Ambassador to lead and advocate safe road use practices among Muslims across the country.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said Imams in various communities and mosques, could help improve the country’s road safety situation by providing the needed motivation for good road user behaviours among their students and followers.
She said the programme and other similar ones would help them to deal with the menace of road traffic casualties and fatalities, especially those involving motorcycles.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah called on politicians to advise their followers to put on helmets when riding motorcycles to rallies, stop the stylish ways of riding.
She added that politicians should not overload people in buses or at the backs of pickups but rather bus them properly to avoid casualties.
She advised drivers to desist from overloading, speeding, drunkenness, and reckless driving especially during the Christmas season.
She also advised pedestrians to refrain from the use of mobile phones when crossing the road.
Dr Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq, Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam speaking on his behalf,commended the NRSA for organising the workshop adding that every citizen in the country had a role to play in ensuring safety on the roads.
He said Muslims should leverage on Islamic values relevant to national efforts towards preserving human dignity on the roads.
Dr Marzuq said Imams were leaders of advocacy whom people listened to,and therefore involving them in the campaign was laudable.
He said non-compliance to road safety laws was the cause of road accidents and the engagement of the Imams would help in educating people on the need to abide by these laws.
Dr Marzuq said there was the need for more intensive campaigns in all points of worship on road safety.