The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah says Ghana has over the last couple of years, lost almost 10% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because of road accidents.

According to him, statistics from the National Road Safety Authority indicate that road traffic accidents cost the country 1.6% of GDP annually which translates into about US$165million.

This means that over the six years, Ghana has lost 9.6% of its GDP which runs into about US$990million into solving road-traffic injuries and related matters.

This “huge” amount of money, according to the Transport Minister, could have been saved to finance some projects in other sectors of the economy.

Addressing stakeholders at the launch of this year’s national road safety campaign dubbed ‘Arrive Alive’ or ‘Kodru Dwodwoo’ in Takoradi in the Western Region, on October 1, Mr Asiamah called for collaboration in the fight against road accidents in the country.

“When you look at the statistics on how we are losing out – the GDP that we lose through accidents, it is almost 10%, why? And most of these accidents could have been avoided if we had exercised a little bit of patience,” he noted.

Women losing their husbands

Mr Asiamah noted that more women are losing their husbands through road accidents – a situation, he stated, ought to be averted immediately.

“Out of 100 road accidents, you will get only two to be women drivers. The remaining 98 are men because women are so patient when they are driving. It is hard to see a woman drunk and driving.”

He urged the men to be more patient drivers adding that their wives will bear the pain of their loss if they die on the road.

“Now, we have few men around and so I will plead with you guys to be cautious on the road so that you will continue to live, marry the women and take good care of them for the country to benefit from you.”

Arrive Alive comes alive

The Arrive Alive’ or ‘Kodru Dwodwoo’ road safety campaign is a project that seeks to caution road users about the need to observe all road safety measures while on the road.

The overall objective is to minimize the levels of indiscipline among road users, policy makers and implementers by educating the general public to adopt safe road-use practices while in traffic as drivers, pedestrians, passengers, motorcyclists, tricyclists or bicyclists as well as advocating for the removal of laxity associated with road safety.

The Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority, Ing. May Obiri-Yeboah, commenting on the campaign, said statistics about carnage on the country’s road paint a gloomy picture, urging all to lend a hand in turning things around.

“We are aware that these crashes have led to the current incidents of fatalities and serious injuries that should have been avoided if caution had been exercised. From January to August this year (2020), we have recorded a total number of 9,205 crashes resulting in 1585 deaths, 1638 pedestrian knockdowns, 9,397 injuries involving 15,459 vehicles,” she revealed.

According to her, preliminary investigations into some of the crashes point out that none compliance with road safety regulations on the part of road users was a major cause of those incidents.

Madam Obiri-Yeboah belives that, the upsurge in road traffic accidents will spur constructive national conversation on the urgent need for better road user discipline and greater policy commitment in preventing the crashes.

“Today, as we launch the ‘Arrive Alive’ or ‘Kodru Dwodwoo’ campaign, we do so with utmost results believing that with the right collaboration from key stakeholders, we can stem the carnage on our roads.”

“Road traffic crashes and its resultant injuries has no respecter of persons. We will all be at risk if we continue to do things as usual and overlook the basis of safety practices. I urge that we all play our part as road users always mindful of our own safety and that of other road users,” she stressed.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.