The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) says road fatalities in the country this year has reduced compared to that of the previous year, 2018.
According to the authority, 1,915 fatalities were recorded between January and October this year as compared to 1,921 recorded for the same period last year.
In addition, it said pedestrian knockdowns had reduced by 7.07 per cent from 2,626 to 2,418 for the same period.
The Public Relations Officer of the authority, Ms Pearl Adusu Gyesi, disclosed this at the climax of a six-month road safety campaign by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra last Thursday.
She said the outcome was the result of intensified campaigns waged by the authority and its partners to sensitise the motoring public to road safety issues.
Ms Gyesi, however, said there had been an increase in persons injured through road crashes. She said 11,520 persons got injured this year as compared to 11,130 in 2018, up by 3.5 per cent.
The NRSA public relations officer, who spoke on behalf of the Director-General of the authority, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, named the prime causes of road traffic accidents that led to fatalities and injuries as distractive driving, drink driving and apathy towards traffic rules.
“Some of the drivers refuse to obey road regulations, while some of the commercial drivers overload vehicles, exceeding the load-carrying capacity designated by manufacturers. These cause challenges in the road safety situation in spite of the numerous interventions being carried out by the National Road Safety Authority,” she stated.
Touching on the Christmas festivities, Ms Gyesi said in a bid to promote a crash-free yuletide and mitigate road traffic accidents, the NRSA last month launched the 2019 road safety campaign which would run through to January next year.
She said the campaign was on the theme, “Stop Road Accidents now before it stops you” and it was to raise the level of awareness of the issue of road safety this Christmas season.
Ms Gyesi said the period was noted for high travel speeds, overtaking, fatigue driving, driving under influence of alcohol, drugs and wrongful crossings, hence the initiative to educate the citizenry on road safety matters.
She added that as part of the campaign, 13,000 commercial drivers nationwide were being trained on road safety, while the authority would collaborate with other agencies to enforce road traffic regulations, among others.
In addition, Ms Gyesi said the authority would soon roll out a programme for every institution, organisation and association to have a road safety champion who would play the role of a road safety advocate in their various outfits.
That, the authority believed, would help educate every individual on road safety.
Adhere to road signs
The public relations officer urged all drivers to adhere to basic road signs and avoid drink-driving, distractive driving and other behaviours that led to road traffic crashes.
“Don’t exceed the speed limit when driving. Pedestrians must always remain watchful and never be in hurry while on the road. Use the appropriate crossing points where necessary and keep your eyes and ears open to the sound of horns around you,” Ms Gyebi advised.
She said a crash-free Christmas was possible provided road users would pledge to be more disciplined.
Other people present at the programme included the Inspector General of Police, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh; the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful; the Director, News, GCCL, Mrs Mavis Kitcher; Director of Corporate Communications, Ghana Standard Authority, Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako; acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mr Seth Seaneke and Director, Marketing and Sales, GCGL, Mr Franklin Sowa