1856 pedestrians killed , January 14, 2014 (Front)

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has raised alarm about the increasing pedestrian knock downs in the country.

According to the commission, in 2014 alone, 2,571 people were knocked down by vehicles that caused 13,133 road accidents in which 11, 328 were injured and 1856 died. The accidents involved 20,442 vehicles.

NRSC 2015 Work Plan meeting

Presenting the figures at the Greater Accra NRSC 2015 Work Plan meeting in Accra yesterday, the Greater Accra Manager of the commission, Mr Daniel H. Wuaku, said the Greater Region had now taken over from the Ashanti Region as the region with the highest contributor to national accident figures.

The programme was meant to review the commission’s performance last year and discuss the strategies for this year.

It brought together participants from institutions such as  the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA),Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service  the Department of Urban Roads (DUR), the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the National Ambulance Service (NAS), the transport unions and the Ghana National Fire Service(GNFS).

Daily accident figures

The number of pedestrians  knocked down  means  an average of seven people  were knocked down daily on the country’s roads last year, with approximately five deaths daily.

It also means that on the average about 36 accidents occur on the country’s roads every day and almost two accidents every hour.

Similarly, 31 people were injured every day, in the road accidents that involved 56 vehicles daily.

In 2013, there were 2,642 pedestrian knock downs from 14,390 road accidents which killed 2,058 people and injured 12,655 others.
 
A comparative analysis of the 2013 and 2014 accident statistics, however, indicated a slight reduction in the figures in 2014.
The Regional break down

A regional breakdown shows the Greater Accra Region topping road  fatalities with 1,190 pedestrian knock downs, 340 deaths and 2,968 injuries from 5,041 road accidents. The figure represents close to 50 per cent of the national accident statistics.

The Eastern and Ashanti Regions follow with 326 and 232 pedestrian knock downs and 255 and 251 deaths respectively.

The region with the least knocked downs was  the Northern Region, which, however, had 124 people killed from road crashes.

Greater Accra  pedestrian knock down flashpoints
In the Greater Accra Region, the commission has identified four roads as the flash point for pedestrian knock downs.

The George Walker Bush Motorway, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle-Nsawam Highway, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle-Mallam Highway, the Accra –Tema Motorway, the Shiashie Pantang and Awoshie-Pokuase has between them the worse pedestrian knock downs.

According to  Mr Wuaku although vehicles left on the shoulders of the road contribute to road accidents, they appeared to have contributed less to the casualty rates, compared to pedestrian knock downs. 
He therefore, called on stakeholders in the roads safety programmes to  collaborate with the commission to reduce the accident figures.
The way out
To curtail the situation, Mr Wuaku said, the commission would concentrate on four focus areas—improved road safety management and promotion of stakeholders’ commitment, promotion of safer roads and mobility, develop knowledge and skills of road users to change behaviour and also enforcement.

He also appealed to the (MTTD  to arrest and prosecute pedestrians who crossed roads under footbridges.
While urging the various transport unions to ensure basic check on their drivers and vehicles before they left  the various lorry parks, he also urged pedestrians to ensure that the vehicles they board were in good shape.

He proposed the setting up of DVLA desks at the various lorry parks to collate first hand information on challenges drivers face on the road to contribute to effors to  reduce the road carnage.
Educate road users

Contributing to the discussions, the AMA Traffic Engineer, Mr Godwin Kaleshie, observed that among the reasons, the inadequate education for road users after the completion of new roads was to blame for the increasing pedestrian knock downs.

Some representatives of the transport unions blamed the accidents on defective roads, the sitting of drinking spots in lorry parks and the absence of footbridges on some of the major roads in the region as contributing to the pedestrian knock down.

The Executive Director of the NRSC, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, added her voice to the call on all stakeholders to put their shoulders to wheel since road safety was a collective responsibility.

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