The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has expressed worry about the number of fatalities recorded from road accidents that occurred from January to the end of February, 2021.

Addressing motorists and pedestrians at the launch of this year’s Easter Road Safety Campaign, Mr Asiamah said that a total of 517 deaths were recorded during the said period, noting that the situation demands immediate attention to address it.

“If you look at the statistics – thus at the beginning of this year, the number of road accidents and deaths recorded is nerve-wracking. From January to February alone, road accidents claimed 517 lives. I have been saying that one life lost on the road as a result of a road accident that could have been prevented is shameful to us as a country.

“The most worrying aspect of the situation is that, we are losing quite a number of our youth. This cannot be allowed to continue. We want everybody alive to contribute to national development”, he noted.

He said the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) in collaboration with the Motor Traffic & Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service as part of their efforts in curbing the menace, will from June, 2021, rollout a number of policy initiatives aimed at further enhancing safety on the various road networks of the country.

He indicated that the NRSA and the MTTD will fix cameras on the various highways to check over speeding.

Also, victims will be issued with a ticket detailing a fine for them to go to a designated court to pay that fine.

“If you fail to go and pay that fine thinking that there was no police officer who monitored you, I’m sorry, you will be there when the police officers will approach you and seize your car. When the car is taken away from you, you have a penalty to pay before it will be returned to you.

“You will also be cautioned and if such occurrence happens again, your driving license will be taken away from you and you will be out of work”, he explained.

He urged motorists not to drink and drive, as that once they drink and drive, they put their lives and that of their passengers at risk.

The transport minister also advised car owners not to put undue pressure on their drivers by demanding for more sales on festive occasions like Easter, stressing that “it is wrong to do that because you put the life of the driver and his or her passengers at risk of causing road accident”.

“If your driver complains to you to change the tyres of the vehicle, please comply so the worn out tyres do not put the lives of the passengers at risk”, he added.

On her part, the Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority, Ing. May Obiri-Yeboah, urged motorists to be disciplined and observe all road signs while plying the road to ensure their safe arrival.

She advised motorists to reduce their speed while urging passengers’ onboard vehicles to keep drivers in check by speaking out for them to reduce their speed when over speeding.

She further urged passengers to wear their seatbelts and also observe all the Covid-19 safety protocols, especially, the wearing of facemasks in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

That aside, Ing. Obiri-Yeboah advised against wrongful overtaking and urged pedestrians to be watchful and cautious while using the road.

Prior to the engagement at Bunso Junction, Ing. Mary Obiri-Yeboah, together with some other top officials from the NRSA, the Eastern Regional Police Commander, ACP Twumasi, the Eastern Regional MTTD Commander, Superintendent Ahiatafu and the Kibi MTTD Divisional Police Commander, Mr. Henry N. Agyemang, made stopovers at Manhia Tollbooth in Accra, Apedwa Junction, and Nkawkaw, to educate motorists and pedestrians about road safety and related matters.

During the exercise, the team stopped both commercial and private vehicles to inspect whether those onboard were wearing their seatbelts and also adhering to the Covid-19 safety protocols by wearing facemasks.