Red alert! More people are getting knocked down

With just three months into the year, the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has raised an alarm about the increasing pedestrian knockdowns in the country.



 
Already, 700 pedestrians have been knocked down, 60 per cent more than in the same period last year.
This means that an average of almost eight people were knocked down daily on the country’s roads from January to March this year.
The Director in charge of Education and Training of the MTTD, DSP Alex K. Obeng, released the figures at the launch of Street Sense Organisation, a non-profit organisation that aims at championing road safety-related issues in Ghana.
Staggering stats 
Figures from the department indicate that from January to March 25, 2017, 510 people lost their lives in 2,890 road crashes, as against 2,830 recorded during the same period in 2016.
The statistics also show that the number of vehicles involved in the crashes also shot up from 4,088 to 4,802, while the injured were 2,971 as against 2,576 in 2016.

Mr Obeng attributed more than 70 per cent of the crashes to irresponsible acts on the part of drivers, including speeding and wrongful overtaking, as well as poor maintenance.
He described the numbers as scary and rallied public support, saying “we need to come together to partner government to address it.”

“There is currently a deficit in road safety publicity and information sharing and we need more organisations to come on board to address the issue,” he observed.


He urged passengers to be their own road safety agents by insisting that “drivers do the right thing as police officers will not be on every road to make drivers obey road traffic regulations.”

Innocent souls 
The Executive Chairman of Street Sense Organisation, Oswald Lavoe, in a speech read on his behalf, stated that in spite of some progress over the years, road safety remained a great national concern and it would take collaborative and concerted efforts to promote it.

“These statistics on road crashes in Ghana are startling and worrying, and we cannot just sit with folded arms and watch thousands of innocent souls perish through accidents,” he said.

Spelling out the vision of the organisation, he said it would be an effective partner in road safety issues in Ghana with a mandate to provide education, increase awareness and empower people to bring about sanity on the roads.

"We also aim at educating road users, drivers, pedestrians and motorists, on prohibitive, informative and directional signs; rights and responsibilities, and rules and regulations governing the use of the roads, among other things,” he added.

The Executive Chairman of Pergah Transport Limited, Bertha Ansah Djan, who chaired the occasion, urged the public to put their shoulders to the wheel to reduce the carnage on the country’s roads.
She courted the support of the corporate world for the organisation as everyone, irrespective of status, was vulnerable to road accidents.

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