The Savannah Regional Office of the National Road safety Authority (NRSA) has undertaken an exercise as part of efforts to ensure that the incidents of road crashes involving disabled vehicles on the corridors are minimised or eliminated in the region.
Mr Safianu Abdul-Rahaman, Savannah Regional Head, NRSA, addressing drivers on the Damongo-Sawla Highway as part of the exercise, advised especially drivers of heavy-duty trucks to place warning triangles in front of, and behind their stationary vehicles to warn approaching drivers.
He added that they should always place the warning signs 45 meters before the hazard when in urban centres where speed limits were lower but on highways outside human settlements, the warning signs should be 145m before and after the hazard to be effective and also prevent motorists from running over them.
Most of the gory accidents that have claimed several lives at a go in the region mostly involve vehicles that are left in the middle of the roads due to mechanical faults.
Most of them are without the appropriate warning signs to alert motorists or the warning signs are placed too close to the disabled vehicles making their intended effect minimal or useless.
As part of the exercise, vehicles were inspected for retro-reflective tapes as they served as a secondary layer of ensuring visibility of vehicles especially at night, and vehicles or drivers, who did not have warning triangles, were made to buy them.
Mr Abdul-Rahaman said Regulation 80 of Legislative Instrument (LI 2180) of Road Safety Regulation 2012 enjoined all passenger and goods carrying vehicles that had a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes and above to fit retro-reflectors on them.
He advised drivers to take regular stops to keep alert, avoid speeding and overtake when it was absolutely safe to do so.
He said “NRSA is often criticised for being reactive and come to the fore only when the harm has been done. This proactive move by the Savannah Regional Team is commendable and worth emulating by others while the authorities take steps to figure a way to tow these broken-down vehicles off the roads.”
Statistics by the NRSA showed that the Savannah Region recorded a total of 29 deaths from January to October, this year, from 60 road crashes involving 92 vehicles.
Half of the fatalities was attributable to crashes involving motorcycles while commercial and private vehicles accounted for the other half.
Nine pedestrians were knocked down, out which four lost their lives while a total of 215 also sustained various degrees of injuries during the same period.
Mr Abdul-Rahaman said “This year’s figures show a significant improvement compared to last year in fatalities and number of crashes and a marginal decline in persons injured. Data from January-September of 2022 and that of 2023 revealed a 30 per cent decline in persons killed; a 29% decline in number of crashes and a 5% decrease in persons injured.”
He attributed this performance to the efforts of all stakeholders and urged them not to lose their guard especially this festive season so that the year would pass by with no further loss of lives or injuries due to crashes.