Director for Planning and programmes at the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), David Adonten, has expressed concern that the number of deaths recorded from January to November, totalling 2, 608, exceeds the number of deaths recorded via road accidents in the history of the country.
According to him, the increase in deaths is “unprecedented” and with the festive season approaching, recklessness on the part of drivers is bound to lead to the increase of death cases in the country. Mr Adonten described the situation as “terrible” and not “acceptable”, indicating that if attitudes do not change death toll will likely hit “3,000” in December.
“Christmas is approaching and when it gets to this period, [as] history and statistics show, we are not in good times. Indeed, when it gets to Christmas, Easter [and] those occasions, we find figures rising to the top. Unfortunately, this year, it has not been good at all for us. As we speak the police has already released the figures and it’s come at the right time so that we can all begin to speak around these figures. So far, in eleven months, up until the end of November, we have recorded figures that I must say [are] unprecedented. Unprecedented in the sense that in the past twenty years, we haven’t seen number of deaths swelling far above 2,600, even in a full year. Now in eleven months, we are counting 2,608 deaths, over 14,000 crashes and again over 14,000 injuries”.Mr David Adonten
Indiscipline of drivers on the roads
Expressing his “worry” over the level of “indiscipline” in the country and the manner in which drivers use the road, Mr Adonten noted that passengers must be involved in ensuring drivers do the right thing. He revealed that the Authority is “broadening up the scope of discussion” by involving Ghanaians in the sensitization on road carnages via its media led campaign.
“When you sit in the bus as a passenger and you always watch them misbehave and you don’t say anything, I think that’s the more reason why it becomes so necessary that the National Road Safety Authority that we have launched a campaign called ‘Stay Alive’. If you’re a passenger, you have a role to play. We are saying that… watch the driver… If he misbehaves by way of over-speeding, wrongful overtaking, driving in a manner that you can see clearly that he is tired, he is going to kill you. There are certain drivers whose behaviours will tell you clearly that there’s something wrong. Please come together as passengers [and] speak about it”.Mr David Adonten
Mr Adonten urged passengers who caution drivers to exercise more restraints on the road but refuse to quickly find a safe spot to alight and report to the NRSA or relevant authorities. He revealed that the Authority is coming out with a “code link” through which passengers can report these recalcitrant drivers.
“We are asking Ghanaians to be advocates. Let us all watch. We at National Road Safety Authority level, we are going to be on the streets, we are going to be on the lorry parks, in churches [and] everywhere… But any driver who would want to misbehave by virtue of the fact that it has gotten to the season where they call their cocoa season… the police is out there”.Mr David Adonten
READ ALSO: GHS Reviews COVID-19 Protocols for Travelers