Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, says it is Government’s major priority to reduce the carnage on the roads through reviewing the road traffic regulation to address the challenge.
It would also incorporate innovative approaches in managing road transport services.
The Minister said it was on that basis that the agencies such as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service continued to receive support from the Central Government to address road safety issues and tackle major factors that contributed to road crashes.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who said this at a media encounter in Accra on Sunday, called for scaling up of road safety education and sensitisation to ensure compliance to road safety measures, procedures and policies, adding that the NRSC had already been active in that drive.
He reiterated Government’s sympathy for the families whose relatives lost their lives in last Friday’s tragic motor accidents on the Techiman-Kintampo and Cape Coast-Takoradi highways, which claimed over 60 lives.
He announced that government had decided to underwrite the treatment costs of the injured persons.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said President Akufo-Addo had tasked the Police Administration, which is authorised to regulate road traffic, to speedily implement the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up last year to propose ways to deal with the carnage on the roads.
Meanwhile, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, the Executive Director of the NRSC, has expressed worry about the upsurge of road crashes leading to needless deaths, claiming about 411 lives while 2,048 got injured between January and February, this year.
She expressed the Commission’s condolences to the families whose relatives had lost their lives and wished those receiving treatment a speedy recovery.
The NRSC Boss said the Inter-Ministerial Committee that was constituted by President Akufo-Addo to address the menace identified indiscipline as the main contributory factor to the increasing road crashes.
That situation, she said, had culminated in total disrespect for road traffic laws and regulations by vehicles and motor riders relating to travel speeds, overtaking, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and long driving periods.
Therefore, she said, the NRSC had made a number of recommendations to the Government to, among other things, transform the NRSC into an Authority and a budgetary support of GHc6.5 million to scale up public education/sensitisation and training.
It also recommended the deployment of traffic camera systems to detect and apprehend overspeeding drivers, red-light and other related offences and removal of faulty vehicles from the road.
The Commission also asked for 1.5 billion Ghana cedis for the road agencies to clear the backlog of road signs, road-line markings, traffic signal lights and crash barriers on the national road network.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah was highly appreciative that Cabinet had approved the NRSC to be an Authority, while Government had released GHc6.5 million from the Ghana Road Fund to the Commission towards the implementation of its action plan and comprehensive road safety education, which started in December, last year.
She said the Commission had been reliably informed that the MTTD had completed preparation to deploy its traffic camera systems and currently seeking approval from the Police Council to commence operations.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah, therefore, called for collective efforts of all road users, including drivers, riders, pedestrians and passengers to work together and develop the culture of discipline to ensure safety on the roads.