Cost of road crashes more than budget for all ministries

Road crashes cost the country up to 1.6 per cent of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) announced in Tamale on Thursday.

In real terms, 1.6 per cent of GDP for 2004, which was around $265 million, was more than the entire budget for all government ministries, which were GH¢200 million for the 2010 financial year.

The cost is in the form of expenses on medicines amongst others for the accident victims.

Mr Noble John Appiah, Executive Director of NRSC, who announced this at a meeting with stakeholders in the road safety sector and the media in the Northern Region, in Tamale, said road crashes were also impacting negatively on the country’s tourism industry.

The meeting was to high light what the stakeholders were doing in terms of road safety and how best to collaborate to improve the situation.

Mr Appiah said some people were being discouraged from travelling to some tourist centres of the country because they feared that they might be involved in accidents.

He said 2020 recorded 11,506 accidents nationwide out of which 1,986 people lost their lives and a host of others sustaining serious injuries.

He said 23 per cent of the total number of deaths were children of school-going age who were killed either as passengers onboard a vehicle before accidents or as pedestrians.

For the Northern Region, 18 per cent of road crashes were by heavy goods vehicles converted to passenger buses, he said.

Mr Appiah criticized the use of motorcycles for conveying passengers and said it posed threats and challenges to environmental sustainability and road safety.

He said presently, the country had 1.3 million registered vehicles, a figure which grew by 10 per cent annually, presenting road safety concerns.

Mr Appiah called on all stakeholders to work together to improve on the road safety situation in the country and stressed the intensification of the enforcement of road safety regulations.

He called on Ghanaians to be passionate about issues road safety measures because of the serious impact on the economy.

Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, called on the NRSC and other stakeholders to intensify their efforts to ensure compliance with road safety regulations.

He pledged support of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council to the NRSC to reduce indiscipline on the roads in the region.

Source: GNA

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