NRSA targets zero road accident deaths in UWR

The Upper West regional office of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) says it is working in collaboration with its partners towards ensuring that no life is lost in the region through road crashes.

Mr Mohammed Abdul-Samad, the Upper West Regional Director of the NRSA, who said this in Wa at the weekend, recognised that it was a daunting task for the Authority to achieve that target but expressed hope that in partnership with other stakeholders, it could be realised.

He was addressing the media in the region as part of the Authority’s quarterly media engagement on activities towards curbing road accidents in the region.

It was also to brief the media on the road traffic situation of the region for the first quarter of 2024 and its strategies for the subsequent quarters.

Mr Abdul-Samad explained that the Authority was advocating the “safe system” approach to reduce the high numbers of road accident cases recorded in the region and to ultimately achieve “zero deaths” resulting from road crashes in the region.

“There is no way we can have a perfect system but as much as possible, we try to minimise the road accident figures so that we don't report such high figures, let alone be talking about the number of deaths.

"We want to have zero deaths. That's what we want. Though it's not going to be an easy task, it's a daunting task, but that's the aim of Upper West Region National Road Safety Authority," he explained.

He said for the first quarter of 2024, the Authority recorded 32 road accidents in the region against 22 cases recorded within the same period of 2023, representing a 45.5 per cent increase.

Also, 28 cases of injuries were recorded in 2023 against 37 cases recorded in 2024 representing a 32.1 per cent increase within the period under review.

He, however, said despite the number of crashes and injury cases increasing, they recorded a reduction in the number of deaths within the period under review from seven cases in 2023 to six cases in 2024, representing.

Mr Abdul-Samad said all the six deaths recorded in the first quarter of 2024 were men above the age of 18 years, involving only motorcycles out of which two cases were pedestrian knockdowns.

Talking about the strategy for the subsequent quarters, he said they would engage in intensive pedestrian sensitisation through all means, including the media and school visitations.

He added that they were also working with the various district and municipal assemblies in the region to form road traffic committees at the district levels to help fight road traffic accidents in the region.

Abdul-Samad said the Authority was also to introduce the "No Helmet, No Riding" campaign in the region, especially the Wa Municipality to ensure that no person rode a motorbike without a helmet, following a successful campaign in the Sissala East Municipality in 2016.

He said they would do the campaign in partnership with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Insurance Commission (NIC), among others, to achieve the maximum results.

Abdul-Samad expressed worry that the negligence of motorists led to the loss of innocent lives, including students and vulnerable people.

He advised road users, especially motorists to observe road traffic regulations, including stopping for people to cross the road, avoiding overspending, using driving mirrors, wearing of helmet and not using a mobile phone while riding or driving as that could help reduce road crashes, injuries and deaths in the region.

He said the NRSA was collaborating with the Department of Urban Roads in the region to fix the main traffic light in Wa town which had not been functioning for about six months now, as well as other traffic lights that are malfunctioning.

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