Safety Alert: 6 people die daily and 2,000 perish annually through road traffic crashes in Ghana

Tracking road accidents in Ghana

The carnage on our roads has become one of the leading causes of deaths in Ghana. On the average, six people die daily and 2,000 perish annually through road traffic crashes; a situation that poses a major threat to the road transport sector, the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police service has revealed.

The Head of Education, Research and Training at the MTTD, DSP Mr Alexander Obeng who announced this during a press conference on Monday attributed the situation to the irresponsible driving displayed by both private and commercial drivers on the country’s highways.

According to DSP Obeng, statistics from their outfit show an average of 59 people get injured nationwide through road accidents everyday since the beginning of 2018.

His assertions come after the death of about twenty-seven (27) passengers through three (3) separate road accidents during last weekend.

“We can’t have any prevention than what research has shown in Ghana that if 100 crashes occur, about 52 are as a result of excessive speeding and out of this too, you realise that about 70% is as a result of unlawful overtaking,” he told reporters.

He continued: “If 592 Ghanaians have been killed within three months from 1st January to 31st March this year, and over 3,300 have been injured, then obviously if history is anything to go by, it must be more.”

To him, if drivers use highways with caution and avoid excessive speeding and overtaking, the alarming numbers could reduce and roads will be safer for Ghanaians.

Drivers To Blame For Crashes

DSP Obeng also bemoaned the spate of road carnage that keep killing and injuring thousands annually.

He stated that besides the enforcement of road regulations, there are some basic responsibilities that need to be addressed to reduce the the number of crashes on the country’s highways.

He mentioned the refusal of drivers to regularly maintain their vehicles, the rush to reach destinations to maximize sales through “excessive speeding [and] unlawful overtaking” as the basic known causes of motor accidents.

“…And we ask ourselves is it that they are not aware? Is it that when we admonish them they are intolerant?” he quizzed while lamenting the neglect of safety precautions on the part of commercial drivers.

He however reiterated the MTTD’s commitment to educate drivers and continue to punish lawbreakers to deter others.

Incidents

A total of twenty seven (27) died from three separate accidents between Saturday and Sunday last weekend.

Two of the crashes which happened in the Northern region claimed twenty (20) lives. The first one happened on Saturday, April 14 at Savelugu in Tamale. Two persons who were on a tricycle loaded with firewood from Diara were crashed by a cargo truck which was also loaded with lumber from Savelugu heading to Diara.

According to the Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mohammed Yusif Tanko, preliminary investigations revealed that the rope tying the firewood on the tricycle also known as motor king got torn “and the rider lost his balance and rode into the lane of the oncoming cargo truck.”

One person on the tricycle, according to police, was smashed beyond recognition on the spot hence a medical officer performed the autopsy on the spot. The other on the tricycle also died later at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

On Sunday dawn at about 1:42AM, another head-on collision involving two buses killed 18 passengers at the Yapei-Yipala highway near Buipe in the Northern region.

On Sunday afternoon, the third accident which happened on the Tarkwa-Bogoso highway in the Western region killed five (5) on the spot while two others died while receiving treatment.

Report by Gideon Sarpong | Data provided by the MTTD

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Gideon Sarpong

2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation Fellow: Gideon Sarpong (G. K. Sarpong) is a media practitioner with over six years of experience in content development and management, data and investigative journalism, policy analysis, production and e-commerce strategizing. Gideon is currently Director of Policy and News Content at iWatch Africa. He is also the Brands and Communication Manager for Football 360, Kwese SportsXtra, on KFS and Celebrity Fanzone, The Tonight Show, and After Hours. Gideon is an e-commerce consultant for Department of Geography & Regional Planning and Department of Religion & Human Values at the University of Cape Coast. He is a columnist for several local and international news portals. Gideon holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Policy Journalism and is committed to promoting transparency and accountability using investigative & data journalism. Gideon is an author with over eight publications; a fellow of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations Program) and Bloomberg Data for Health Program.

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