The first two months of 2017 saw 354 persons losing their lives through motor accidents, Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has revealed.
This adds to the “over 3000” who perished in all of 2016, Mr Asiamah said when he addressed commercial drivers in Kumasi on Saturday April 1, 2017 on the second day of President Akufo-Addo’s three-day tour of Ashanti.
“354 persons died [on our roads]. That is what is official; those not reported we do not know. Last year, over 3000 persons lost their lives through road accidents. So we are pleading you – road safety is very dear to us,” he urged
To that end, the Minister said the president had asked for the enactment of new road safety legislation, which will “soon” be done with and presented to cabinet.
“Cabinet will accept it after which it will be taken to parliament so parliament approves, then we empower the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to enforce the law,” he said
He said the NRSC only plays an advisory role on road safety currently, usually educating road users on traffic regulations, but stated that the new law will ensure a change.
He called for “cooperation” from drivers once the law is passed “because those dying could be your sibling or mother or even you”.
His call followed a plea by the president to the drivers, at the same event, to do their best to ensure this year’s Easter records the least number of road crashes.
Mr Akufo-Addo said there was the need for road users to observe regulations while government plays its part by putting in the necessary checks including registration and licensing of drivers and vehicles.
“We must sit down and take a look at all the regulations in the transport sector. We’re going to do that with you to make sure that there is proper licensing and a proper registration system in place that will protect all of us. So I’m giving you that assurance.
“Also, this Easter, we should make it a matter of concern that this year, the accidents on our roads during the Easter period, we’ll bring them down. Everyone should decide that we are going to observe the rules on the road and make this Easter the best in terms of casualties and accidents on our roads this year. This is my biggest wish I put before you. Help me realise it.”