More than 1,800 die annually while 14,500 people are injured through accidents on the country’s roads.
The socio-economic costs of the road accidents are estimated at 1.6 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Central Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr. Stephen Anokye, has disclosed.
At a stakeholders meeting in Cape Coast on Friday, to discuss and set an agenda to develop a two-year action plan as part of a proposed strategy to curb the carnage on roads in the Central Region, Mr. Anokye called for concerted collaboration of all stakeholders.
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) developed the Strategy dubbed “the National Road Safety Strategy III” to reduce road carnage at the national level by 20 per cent by the end of this year.
The meeting was attended by personnel from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Highway Authority, the Drivers’ and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), transport unions, driving schools, the National Commission for Civic Education and the media.
Mr. Anokye noted that the key objective of the National Road Safety Strategy III was to halt the rising trend of road traffic fatalities and injuries by 2015, and thereafter reduce it by 50 per cent by the end of 2020 as recommended by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.
He said the decade-long strategy, which is expected to address specific needs at different periods, is the third in the series of strategic blueprints prepared to provide the broad framework for road safety management in the country.
Identifying some factors that account for ineffective road management, Mr. Anokye mentioned unsafe vehicles on the roads, poor training for drivers and other road users, poor road worthy certification, poor emergency response, inadequate logistics as well as poor coordination among stakeholders.
The Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP Stephen Andoh Kwofie underscored the importance of educating drivers and other road users on regularly on road signs and regulations, employing qualified engineers as well as the involvement of the emergency enforcement in effective road management.
He suggested that aside the occasional road worthiness checks carried out on vehicles, the various transport unions should come up with measures such as employing qualified mechanical engineers who will on daily basis check vehicles to detect mechanical faults before embarking on their journeys, saying it would be much effective.
He also suggested that drivers be subjected to psychological and physical tests before embarking on their journeys and that the attitude of the driver was very important in effective road management.
The participants suggested among others that there should be frequent capacity training for stakeholders while road safety clubs should be established in schools.
The naming of roads, streets and junctions should also be carried out to facilitate quick emergency response.