The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) is leading the 2022 road safety campaign, “Stay Alive; gyae obonsam agyuma nu,” to reduce road accidents in the Eastern Region.
The programme was jointly launched by the Ghana Police Service’s Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, and the National Insurance Commission.
Mr Dennis Yeribu, Eastern Regional Head of NRSA, stated during the launch that 1,985 people were killed in road crashes in the country between January and October, while 13,109 were injured, out of the 12,565 road crashes documented.
With approximately 325 deaths associated with road crashes between January and September of this year, Ghana’s Eastern Region ranked third in the country.
Mr. Yeribu said more than 80 percent of road crashes were as a result of human errors such as wrong overtaking, excessive speed, fatigue driving, drunk driving, and poor maintenance, among others.
He warned that, “As we are entering the most dangerous phase of the year where there are higher records of crashes and fatalities, drivers should push all efforts to prevent road accidents.”
Despite the fatalities, he emphasised that fatalities were down 18.18 percent between January and October this year compared to the same period last year.
“We shouldn’t be happy about these deaths we record on our roads, especially not knowing who the next victim is.”
Mr. Yeribu added that road safety campaigners were embarking on what he described as “strategic enforcement drives” throughout the region, and that the NRSA has launched a short code 194, an additional toll-free number, to support avenues from the police and related agencies in curbing road safety incidences and concerns.
In comparison to the previous year, 2021, the Eastern Region recorded 2,377 injuries out of 1,177 reported cases involving 2,049 vehicles, according to NRSA.
The numbers reflected an 8.96 percent decline in fatalities and a 19.33 percent rise in injuries.
In a speech delivered on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Seth Kwame Achempong stated that the road was a shared space for pedestrians, cyclists, passengers, and cars and asked all to follow road regulations.
This, he said, “will not only enhance our nation’s ability to grow the economy, but it will also ensure that our roads do not become death traps.”
The minister also stated that as the Christmas season approached, it was important to emphasise the importance of road safety and ensure that road safety education developed the necessary knowledge, skills, attitude, and values to enable pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and passengers to use the road safely
He blamed the rising number of fatalities on driver misconduct and recklessness.
Mr. Fosu Ackah, the Eastern Regional Police Commander in Charge of MTTD, advised drivers to be cautious, rest when exhausted, and avoid excessive speeding.
Drivers should not hand over their vehicles to unprofessional or spare drivers, he stressed, and they should avoid any distractions that might lead to a traffic accident.