Mr Stephen Anokye, the Central Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), has called on political parties to create safe environment for road users since most of their campaign trips begin and end with road transport.
He said road transport played a pivotal role in the socio-economic and developmental agenda of the country’s political system.
Mr Anokye said it was unfortunate that vehicular driving to political programmes in the country were characterized by poor driving standards, poor vehicle maintenance, overloading, over speeding, drunk driving as well as fatigue driving.
He said this at a day’s workshop held by the Commission for the various political parties in the Central Region in Cape Coast on Tuesday.
The workshop, which was attended by about 50 participants, was aimed at promoting a peaceful and crash-free election year, under the theme: “Road safety, my responsibility, your responsibility and our collective responsibility towards a peaceful and crash-free election”.
He pleaded with all political parties and their supporters, as well as Ghanaians at large to rededicate themselves to responsible road safety management since it was a collective responsibility and that it could affect anyone one way or another.
According to him, statistics available to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) suggest that previous election years had seen disturbing development in relation to road safety.
He observed that increased political activities had partly been identified as contributing to the rise in road-crash related deaths and injuries. He added that as at the end of May 2012, a total of 5,918 crashes had been recorded nationwide, with 928 persons losing their lives and 5,670 being injured.
For the Central Region, he said, a total of 621 crashes had been recorded as at June 2012 with 113 fatalities and 780 injuries.
He said 90 percent of these road crashes were as a result of human error and advised that if much attention was not given to road safety this year, the number of fatalities would increase drastically.
Mr. Thomas Tawiah Aquinas Quansah, Deputy Central Regional Minister called on political party leaders to advise their members to conform to road safety rules and regulations, particularly in this election year.
He also advised them to plan their time and travels well and also avoids the use of unnecessary motorcades which also contribute to road crashes.
Mr Quansah further advised political parties not to fight among themselves since insults and lies would not win them votes but rather live in peace and harmony and also accept the results of the December polls in good faith.