Pedestrians account for about 43% of road deaths – Transport Minister
Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Minister of Transport on Thursday indicated that out of the annual average of 2,000 deaths on our roads, pedestrians account for about 43 per cent or 840 of the fatalities.
She said 23 per cent out of the 43 per cent of pedestrian deaths affect children mostly of school going age under 16 years.
Mrs Attivor who was speaking during the launch of the second UN Global Road Safety Week and the National Pedestrian Safety Campaign in Accra, expressed government’s concern about the issue as it affect mostly vulnerable road users.
“As change agents, we have a responsibility to make the situation better because apart from seeking the welfare of the vulnerable, we are all pedestrians at one time or the other,” she said.
The UN Global Road Safety Week which starts on May 5 to May 11 would be celebrated countrywide with education mainly on how to ensure road safety.
The Pedestrian Safety Campaign, which is a 60 day sensitisation programme and christened “Be Alert! Look Out for Other Road Users,” would be sued to harness efforts to manage the reduction of pedestrian deaths.
It would also be used to educate pedestrians on how to minimise risks to their safety on the roads and develop programme materials to enhance pedestrian education on road safety.
Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemana, Minister of Roads and Highways, appealed to drivers to ensure that roads are used for the purpose of transportation and not for taking lives.
He expressed concern about the numerous deaths that occur on newly constructed roads and urged drivers and road users to ensure that construction of good roads do not become a panacea for killing people.
He advised pedestrians to use the walk-ways provided on the George Walker Bush Highway and stop destroying the wires which prevent people from crossing the road.
Mr Noble John Appiah, Executive Director, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), appealed to drivers to pay particular attention to road safety as it is not “only about the reading of statistics but the pain and hardship people go through when they lose their loved ones.”
He said last year, the NRSC with the support of the Danish Government, organised a sensitisation programme for more than 100 District and Municipal Chief Executives on the need to ensure road safety in their localities.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, National Motor Traffic and Transport Unit Commander expressed worry about the unwillingness of drivers at La Paz, which was the location of the programme to stop work and partake in the sensitisation programme.
He was worried about the high rate of deaths which had occurred on the George Walker Bush Highway since it was opened and urged all road users to be extra careful when using it.