Road traffic accidents have assumed alarming proportions, with the country recording 5,340 accidents between January and May this year.

740 people lost their lives in these accidents, with 4,950 others sustaining various degrees of injury.

The Director-General in charge of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Kudalor, who announced this at a press briefing in Accra on Tuesday, said that was in spite of the fact that the spate of traffic accidents reduced during the past Christmas and Easter festivities.

He noted that within the past two weeks alone, 42 people had died as a result of traffic accidents which occurred along the Techiman-Kintampo, Sunyani-Berekum and Kumasi-Sunyani roads.

He said if stringent measures were not taken to abate the situation, it was expected that the worst would happen and that might affect efforts at reducing the carnage on the roads.

He said according to statistics, the situation had not shown any chronological reduction over the years, adding that pragmatic efforts and measures needed to be put in place to stem the tide.

The Director-General mentioned the deployment of traffic personnel to decongest areas prone to traffic jams, particularly intersections and roundabouts, during morning and evening rush hours as one of the measures put in place by the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) to address the problem.

According to him, the collaboration among the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the MTTU and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) had been recognised, with the DVLA providing three new vehicles to facilitate the process of checking substandard vehicles and unqualified drivers on a weekly basis.

He said traffic personnel had also been assigned to check speeding, drink driving and other acts of indiscipline on the Accra-Cape Coast, Accra-Aflao, Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Ho, Accra-Akosombo and Accra-Dodowa roads.

“Motorised patrols have also been carried out on the roads listed above and the objective is to make MTTU personnel spread out and make their selves visible on the highways on a daily basis to ensure compliance with road traffic laws and regulations,” he said.

According to him, the MTTU had started conducting checks on drivers and vehicles at lorry stations for compliance with some basic safety requirements prior to embarking on their journeys, including tiredness, alcohol/drug intake, functioning headlights, wipers and effective tyres.

He announced the setting up of an action patrol response team for quick response on all vulnerable crash prone zones on the roads and appealed for support from corporate organisations.

For his part, the Commander of the MTTU, Mr. Angwubotuge Awuni, said for the month of May alone, the unit recorded 1,117 motor accidents involving 1,747 vehicles nation-wide.

He said the Accra Region alone recorded 427 cases with 679 vehicles, resulting in 21 deaths and 200 people being injured.

Source: Daily Graphic