Tamale records 67 deaths in 179 accidents

The Tamale Metropolis had from last year to January this year recorded a total of 67 deaths in 179 accidents.

Fifty six of the deaths were recorded last year in 168 accidents while 11 accidents recorded in January this year resulted in 11 deaths.

A total of GH¢6,876.00 fines was imposed on offending drivers as revenue for the state.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Godwin Cashman Korbla Blewushie, Northern Regional Commander of the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday.

He blamed the situation on high illiteracy rate among the drivers who he said most could not read nor write and therefore could neither interpret road signs nor abide by them.

DSP Blewushie said the negative practices of using truck vehicles as passenger vehicles were also to blame for the accident rates.

He noted that a lot of offending drivers had been arrested with 31 sent to court last year while first offenders were cautioned and made to sign a bond to be of good conduct on the road.

Throwing light on the challenges of the MTTU in the region, he noted that the MTTU was poorly resourced to carry out educational and sensitization programmes across the region making them to limit their operations in the Tamale Metropolis.

He said the Tamale MTTU lacked a vehicle and reflectors and that the only alco-meter available was not being used because its battery was dead and could not be purchased in the region except in Accra.

DSP Blewushie also bemoaned interferences from traditional, opinion and political leaders who he said interfered in their work whenever motorists were arrested making it difficult for the police to ensure sanity.

“The police officers who arrest motorists are not even spared in Tamale as some of them had on countless occasions been attacked and assaulted by residents… but we are not perturbed by that. We will continue to perform our legitimate duty,” he said.

He sited instances where relatives of the deceased prevented the police from taking the death bodies on accident spots for autopsy as some of their challenges.

The MTTU commander gave the assurance that the police would continue to arrest, educate and prosecute offenders as a strategy of reducing road accidents in the Tamale Metropolis and appealed to authorities to assist them with logistics to aid their work.

He said the police had been carrying out periodic education on road safety on the roads, at the mosques and lorry stations.

Touching on alleged extortions of money from motorists, DSP Blewushie said it was rather the giver that must be blamed for the offences adding that because most motorists knew they were wrong, they quickly offered money to the police to avoid being prosecuted.

He however conceded that some policemen act unprofessionally saying “there is Mensah in every house”.

Source: GNA

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