Road crashes in the Upper East Region has, from January to November this year, reduced by 84 as compared to that of last year during the same period. The Region recorded 305 road crashes with 171 persons injured and 51 deaths as against last year which recorded 389 crashes, 260 injured persons and 90 deaths.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News in Bolgatanga, Mr Denis Yeribu, the Upper East Regional Planning Officer of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), said nine persons out of 24 pedestrians who were knocked down by vehicles died.
He said about 55 per cent of the vehicles involved in the road crashes were motorbikes and 45 persons out of the 51 deaths recorded this year were men. He said if that trend continued in the region, most families would be left without breadwinners and poverty and delinquency could set in especially in the rural communities.
“It is a worrying growing trend in the region, where a high number of young people above 18 years and mostly men are dying needlessly as a bit of caution could have prevented most of these deaths”.
The Planning Officer however attributed the decline in the road crashes in the region to the intensive education and sensitisation programmes the Commission undertook in the course of the year and added that about 2000 people had received training on road safety signs and measures.
“The Commission has intensified its outreach programmes to many people including teachers, drivers, educated people, potential road safety ambassadors as well as schools, churches, mosques and the communities especially crashes prone areas and it has yielded positive results”, he said.
Mr Yeribu said recklessness, speeding, over loading, and alcoholism were major causes of road crashes in the region and revealed that there were over 80 drinking spots along the principal streets of Bolgatanga Municipal alone in the region.
As part of efforts to ensure safety on the roads during the Christmas season, he admonished drinking bar operators not to leave their drunken customers alone but get people to accompany them home.
He said the Commission would collaborate effectively with the Ghana Police Service, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to improve their work of intensive education and law enforcement and urged the media to assist in the sensitisation process.
He advised transport operators to assign two drivers particularly for long distances and warned drivers to avoid the intake of drugs to keep them active as the side effects could be harmful.
He asked motorbike riders to wear their helmets to prevent deaths during crashes adding that effective operation of the Commission continued to be hindered by poor budgetary allocation to the Commission and appealed to the government to review the Commission’s budget upwards to make it more resourceful.