More than 9,997 road traffic accidents, equivalent to 1.6 per cent of Ghana’s gross domestic product, were reported between January and September 2010, Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, Inspector General of Police said on Friday.
Out of the figure, 1,333 road users lost their lives with more than 9,728 sustaining various forms of injuries, he added.
Mr Quaye said this in a speech read on his behalf at the official launch of the “Operation Show Your Ticket,” a project instituted in 2009 by the management of the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL), to check ticket malpractice and to block leakages in revenue collection in the public transport sector.
He cautioned drivers and other road users to be safety conscious during the Christmas season to save lives.
Mr Quaye said the Ghana Police Service together with the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority and the National Road Safety Commission had recently embarked on a special exercise to ensure that vehicles were in good condition and that qualified drivers drove them.
He called on the public to pay the right fare whenever they patronised the services of the MMTL.
Mr Siisi E. Ocran, Director of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Transport said malpractices in ticketing had increased in recent times with more than 760 cases recorded in 2009 alone.
He called on the board and management of MMTL to fashion out a more scientific and innovative means of clamping down on the menace.
Mr Nii Armah Ashietey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, observed that since the country’s independence, governments had attempted to introduce mass public transport system but had failed due to indiscipline and ineffective management practices.
“The result is high operating costs leading to the inability of the companies to maintain these vehicles,” he said.
“One of the factors identified for this state of affairs is ticket racketeering, corruption and other forms of malpractices on the part of some passengers, the staff, and sometimes management.”
Mr Ashietey called on the management to ensure that adequate resources were mobilized to make the operations of MMTL self-sustaining and economically viable.
Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, lauded the mass transit system, stressing that it was a form of de-congestion exercise that rid the city of traffic and air pollution.
He called on the management to ensure efficiency in the transport delivery system, adding the timely arrival and departure of the buses coupled with professional attitude of the conductors and staff of MMTL would ensure that the company’s operations were accessible, comfortable and affordable to the public.