The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has blamed the government for the increased rate of road accidents in the country, saying poor leadership is the major cause.
This reprimand was given out in a statement by the party’s Director of Communications, Nana Akomea. In the statement released to the press on Sunday, 21st February, the party lamented the various careless accidents which have claimed numerous lives of Ghanaians, left survivors with blemishes and the living bereft of their loved ones.
The latest and most prominent of these accidents being that of last Wednesday along the Kintampo-Tamale road involving an MMT bus and a cargo truck which claimed over 60 lives and left many seriously injured.
Nana Akonea pointed out that as have been previously discovered, the major cause of most of these road accidents is reckless driving, precisely, over speeding and indiscriminate overtaking.
However, he blamed the government for failing to implement policies and measures which have hitherto been put in place to control these lapses on the part of road users.
He further enjoined the government to wake up to her duties in the area of road transport safety to ensure reduced accidents on our roads.
Below is the statement:
Sunday, 21st February 2016
THE SPATE OF TRAGIC ACCIDENTS ON OUR HIGHWAYS: GOVERNMENT SHOULD SHOW LEADERSHIP IN IMPLEMENTING PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS
The spate of horrendous, tragic vehicular accidents on the nation’s highways have caused immense sorrow to many families and the nation at large.
One such recent accident occurred at the Winneba junction, when a passenger Benz bus, whilst engaged in overtaking, ran headlong into a tipper truck.
Over a dozen Ghanaians lost their lives instantly in this accident.
Just last Wednesday 17 February at Kintampo, a passenger bus, also in an attempt to overtake, ran headlong into a cargo truck.
Over 60 Ghanaians have so far lost their lives in this accident. According to one survivor, the driver of the passenger bus was speeding recklessly. The pictures and footage from these accidents have drawn shock and tears from many Ghanaians.
The common thread in these tragic accidents has mainly been reckless driving, manifest in over speeding, by drivers of long distance passenger buses.
This problem has been long identified. Pragmatic solutions have also been long advocated and agreed. However, the rhetoric has not been backed by the needed leadership to implement the pragmatic measures we all agree are necessary to reduce these tragic accidents.
This unfortunate pattern is repeating itself again in the wake of the Kintampo accident.
President Mahama, earlier this year remarked that passengers needed to be vigilant in checking driver over speeding. At the recent swearing in of IGP Kudalor( in the wake of the Kintampo accident), he again lamented that ” many people are losing their lives because of reckless driving.”
He went on to charge the police to cooperate with the transport organisations to check the growing indiscipline and lawlessness on the roads. Various leaders make similar laments and exhortations when these accidents occur.
As indicated, what has been sorely lacking is the leadership to ensure implementation of the pragmatic measures that we all agree will reduce these tragic road accidents.
One pragmatic measure that has long been advocated and agreed is the need for a policy to require mandatory installation of speed alarms in all long distance passenger buses.
The loud warning alarm anytime a driver goes beyond an agreed limit, all agree, will be best way to limit over speeding in long distance passenger buses and hence reduce these accidents that result from this reckless over speeding.
The NPP urges the government to this time not end with the rhetoric. Government should immediately initiate processes to legislate this policy, to make it mandatory for all long distance passenger vehicles to be fitted with speed alarms.
This will be the best way of ensuring that those who have died at Kintampo would not have died in vain.
(Director of Communications)