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712 deaths recorded in road crashes first quarter of 2011

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The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service has so far recorded 712 deaths from road crashes within the first quarter of 2011 as against 488 deaths within the same period in 2010 nation-wide.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Alexander Obeng, Head of Education, Research and Training, MTTU, said 158 of the deceased were below 18 years and the situation could have been prevented if road users had been more observant with road traffic regulations.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Wednesday, ASP Obeng noted that injuries received from the crashes increased from 3,881 within the same period last year to 4,074 this year.

He pointed out that more commercial vehicles were involved in the crashes than private vehicles due to indiscipline on the roads, wrongful over-taking, speeding, usage of mobile phones while driving, and disregard for road signs.

ASP Obeng said this alarming figure should serve as a warning to all stakeholders in the transport industry to come on board to put in more efforts in the campaign for road safety in the country to reduce deaths on the roads.

He said the MTTU had stepped up its efforts to ensure road users complied with regulations and other safety measures instituted by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

However, he added that intensified education was needed to help curb the situation and urged the NRSC to design their campaign messages suitable for the people, especially those in the communities.

ASP Obeng called on government to put measures in place to check road construction engineers to devise safety mechanisms like foot-bridges on the roads to help to protect vulnerable road users like pedestrians.

He appealed for more resources for the MTTU especially modern equipment to facilitate their efforts to reduce road crashes throughout the country as well as helping the United Nations (UN) efforts on preventing deaths on the roads.

The UN in May this year, declared 2011-2020 as a Decade of Action for Road Safety throughout the world and observers had questioned whether measurable efforts were being taken by developing countries like Ghana to make this declaration fruitful, since Africa is considered most vulnerable to road crashes.

Source: GNA

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