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Annual Public Transport Day launched at Kasoa

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Mike Hammah - Transport Minister

Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Transport, on Wednesday launched the annual celebration of the Public Transport Day at Kasoa in the Central Region.

The Day would be used to address worrying issues pertaining to the public or the commercial transport sector and also encourage the patronage of public transport.

In a speech, the minister expressed government’s desire to ensure the smooth operation of the public transport sector, especially on curbing the rampant road accidents.

Mr Hammah noted that about 1,800 people die annually due to road accidents and urged the law enforcement agencies to implement all the laws regulating the public transport sector.

He said road accidents had now become a developmental issue as they consumed about 1.65 per cent of Gross Domestic Product annually.

“Road accidents have now become a developmental issue and government cannot sit and watch it derail its ‘Better Ghana Agenda”, he added.

Mr Hammah said plans were far advanced for the introduction of road safety education in basic schools.

“This would enable the young ones to grasp the tenets of road safety at a tender age.”

He cautioned drivers to desist from careless driving, especially as Christmas approached, and urged passengers not to put undue pressure on drivers to speed or overtake other vehicles.

Mr John Noble Appiah, Executive Director, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), urged the media to desist from spreading falsehood that Ghana was the third worst accident prone country in the world.

“I will like to tell the public, especially the media, that Ghana has never been the third worst accident prone country in the world as that position is occupied by South Africa”, he explained.

He intimated that road accidents were not about statistics but about pain, deprivation and, most of all, a developmental issue and called on all to come on board in finding solutions to it.

Mr Appiah said the Commission had been receiving invitation for talks on road accident prevention due to its track record in curbing road accidents in the country, which had gained international recognition.

Alhaji Issah Tetteh, National Vice Chairman, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), appealed to the Ghana Standards Board to critically examine spare parts imported into the country since some of them were not of good quality, thereby increasing the spate of road accidents.

He appealed to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to help eliminate drinking spots from lorry stations since it had been cited as a contributory factor to road accidents.

The Ghana National Fire Service in collaboration with Total, an oil marketing company, held a  demonstration on how avoid fire outbreaks from oil tankers involved in accidents.

As part of the celebration, Mr Hammah, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Transport Minister and Mr Appiah boarded a commercial vehicle from Kaneshie to Kasoa to acquaint themselves with the challenges passengers on public transport faced.

Source: GNA

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