In a story published yesterday in the Ghanaian Times, it was reported that a total of 1,585 people lost their lives to road accidents across the country from January to August, this year.
According to the report, the carnage resulted from 9,205 crashes involving 15,459 vehicles over the eight-month period.
The report quoted the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) as saying that motorcycles, popularly known as “Okada”, accounted for the highest number of deaths with 643 lives, followed by commercial vehicles, 596 and private vehicles, 346.
The number of lives lost comprised 1,275 males and 310 females, the NRSA said.
Addressing journalists on the road safety situation on the back of the upsurge in crashes in the last few weeks, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, Director-General of the NRSA, said the country had seen a marginal increase in the number of crashes, deaths and injuries compared to same period last year.
She said though the country recorded a 14-per cent reduction in fatalities from January to May, largely due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ease in restrictions from June this year saw a rise in accidents on the roads.
“Particularly disturbing is the number of child fatalities arising from the incidents, which has been quite low in the last 10 years. However, there is a 17.6 per cent reduction in pedestrian knockdowns,” she stated.
The grim picture painted by the NRSA is cause for concern because many lives are being lost recklessly and needlessly on roads across the country.
It is disheartening to hear that through the recklessness of a driver, human life has been lost in a road crash.
For instance, as Mrs Obiri-Yeboah indicated, 70 per cent of the accidents occurred on “flat straight roads”, which emphasises the need for increased sensitisation of motorists to road safety rules.
What this means is that drivers have blatantly refused to adhere to regulations on road safety and continue to kill and maim innocent Ghanaian road users. That is not good enough.
We condemn the recklessness on the road and offer our support to the NRSA’s renewed partnership with the media to roll out a campaign dubbed “Arrive Alive”, to increase visibility and information on road safety.
We urge all Ghanaians to lend their support to the campaign nationwide so that together we can stop the carnage on the roads.
We must compel every driver and road user in the country to adhere to road safety regulations because that is the only way to save lives.
Reckless and needless road crashes must stop.