A joint study by the Transport Ministry and the National Road Safety Authority has revealed that only six percent of motorists in Ghana comply with the speed limit on the highways and eight percent on urban roads.
The national capital, Accra, is said to have largest number of culprits, with just 20 percent compliance, followed by Takoradi, Wa, Tamale and Bolgatanga.
“It’s been found most us could not do the stipulated 50km/h in urban areas, 90 on highways and school areas, about 30km/h. We could see as high as 188 km/h, the lowest we saw is 40 km/h and that happens to be the trucks or the heavy loaded vehicles,” says David Osafo Adonteng, Director, Planning and Programmes, National Road Safety Authority.
“There’s a very huge speed disparity between the low and high. The moment you’re riding and you happen to go behind slow-moving vehicles, you’re tempted to overtake and because most of our roads are not double carriage they’re tempted to overtake and they do it wrongly,” he added.
He said this is the reason for most head-on collisions.
The scale and magnitude of safety among pedestrians, passengers and motorcyclists were also considered.
They found that most pedestrians were exposed to knock-downs by cars followed by buses or minibusses and motorcycles.
Pedestrian fatalities were established to occur between 2 p.m. to 8 pm, around when people have closed from work, school and related activities and traffic movement are active.
Driver error due largely to inattentiveness and speeding were also fingered.
Alcohol and substance abuse, ignorance to traffic regulations, road and vehicular defects and recklessness were some listed causes of accidents.
The research reflects a 2007 study by the Building and Road Research Institute which found 95 percent of vehicles went beyond speed limits.
Mr. Osafo Adonteng appealed to vehicle owners to reduce pressure on drivers to make huge sales.
“There is pressure on them from vehicle owners in order to meet demands, he observed.
The research recommends what authorities call intelligent transport system known as active or smart speed bumps and enforcement.
Also automated speed monitoring, using automated number plate recognition. This, the researchers believe will be far better than traditional police enforcement which are ridden with corruption and interferences.
The report which was compiled from June 2018 to July 2019, sought to determine the level of travel speed in Ghana.
It involved a total of 50,364 vehicles from private cars to tricycles.
Regional capitals and their rural, urban and village comprising of Accra, Takoradi, Wa, Tamale, Bolgatanga and Kumasi were covered.
Greater Accra recorded the highest number of offenders, scoring 20 percent compliance followed by Takoradi, Wa, Tamale and Bolgatanga.
Kumasi saved the day with 70 percent compliance to speed limits.
Some 350 deaths and 1,200 injuries from road accidents have so far been recorded as at August 2018 in the Ashanti Region alone.
“It’s worrying, last year we recorded 399 deaths the whole year, so that means we are not doing well. Excessive speeding has been the cause of many vehicle fatalities,” said May Obiri Yeboah, Director General of the authority.