The deputy superintendent of police in charge of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit, Mr. Alexander K. Obeng has stated that his unit recorded a total of 12,000 cases of road accident from January to November this year out of which 1,713 people lost their lives.
Greater Accra recorded 1,336 whereas Eastern region came second with 384 cases, followed by Ashanti region with 373 leaving Tema, Central, and Brong-Ahafo, with 360, 333 and 312 cases recorded respectively. The rest includes Western region, 242, Volta region, 152 and Northern region 53 with Upper East recording the least case of 35.
According to DSP Alexander Obeng, this is an improvement compared to the death toll of 1,888 recorded last year and is determined to reduce the figure even more.
He was speaking in an interview with Frank Adjei on plans of the police traffic unit during this festive season. According to him, his unit has noticed the congestion and various road offences that characterizes such special season and has since adopted a number of strategies to contain the situation.
He admits that most of these road accidents are avoidable and require discipline. He adds that the police traffic unit has embarked on a number of campaigns to sensitize road users on the need to be cautious on the road. Overtaken, drunk-driving speeding, non-functional traffic lights rickety vehicles and the presence of under-aged drivers are just a few of the major cause of road accidents witnessed on our roads. Over the past years Ghana has been battling with this issue and has lost great and resourceful persons through road crush.
As part of the strategies adopted by the police to deal with this carnage, the police has lunched “operation father Christmas” as part of measures to look out for those recalcitrant drivers or road-users. This operation is designed to deploy adequate number of police officers including those from other units like the police patrol team, the visibility unit among others.
This Mr. Alexander Obeng noted will deter people from flouting the road act as we approach the Christmas holidays. Again, the police traffic unit is alerting both drivers and passengers to report any instance of traffic light failure or report unauthorized persons who are found to be in the reflector vest directing traffic to 18555 since most of these civilian lack the necessary skill and protective gear for the job.
The police traffic unit has the sole duty to direct traffic in an event of traffic light failure. And as such, the police would deploy it men to the various intersection point as part of its quest to reduce the horror.
Asked about the plans of the unit in relation to street hawkers this season, DSP Obeng admits that even though, the issue of street hawking has been a perennial problem; the police are committed in tackling the unsightly practice.
Aside the several calls on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the police to arrest the situation, the Ghana road act also frowns on it. The activities and the commercialization and of these peddlers heralds such festive season and this year will not be an exception. Between January and November the MTTU has recorded a total of 2,376 pedestrians knocked down and attributes it mainly the selling and hawking on road pavements.
DSP Alexander Obeng stated that even though his outfit has made some arrest, there is the need to intensify the education on the dangers of the menace. He chided the Metropolitan Municipal District Assembly for not doing enough to get sellers of the street pavements and implored them to fine or prosecute offenders at the motor courts this he said would not only raise revenue, but will deter sellers and hawkers on our street pavements.
To add to the list, the police traffic and transport unit has also lunched a campaign refer to as the “passenger empowerment campaign” which is to sensitizes passengers on the need to caution drivers who drive them from one destination to the other.
This is to ensure that the passenger is well educated on road safety measures. Passengers he said also have every right to not only caution a driver on his speed limits but can also check the driving lances of a driver before embarking on a journey.
He reiterated the ban of the use of motor cycle for commercial purposes and said the police will clamp down on commercial motor riders popularly called “okada” and warned the public to desist from their services.