The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has decried consistent political and social interference by influential persons in the society when enforcing the road traffic regulations.
The Deputy Western Regional Commander of the MTTD, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Kobena Essel, expressed the concern at a day’s orientation workshop organised by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) in Takoradi.
He said frequent interference by politicians, chiefs, civil society organisations and influential persons in the society when someone is arrested by the police for various road traffic offences is becoming worrisome.
He said the situation is hampering the full implementation of the provisions in the Road Traffic Act 683 of 2004 and Road Traffic Regulation 2180.of 2012.
He said since the Department was established with a mandate to ensure full compliance of the road traffic laws, it is incumbent upon stakeholders to cooperate and support their work in order to ensure safety on the road.
He entreated Ghanaians to be conversant with the road traffic laws in order to not to have a brush with the law.
The event brought together staff of the National Commission for Civic Education and the Information Services Department from crash-prone districts in the Region so that they would collaborate with the NRSC in educating Ghanaians on road safety issues.
ASP Essel blamed over speeding, drunk-driving, non-observance of road traffic regulations, fatigue-driving among other human and mechanical errors as some major causes of motor accidents in the country and appealed for cooperation of all in ensuring a crash-free society.
He said it the responsibility of the MTTD to educate road users on the traffic regulations as well as safe usage of the road and, would therefore, need the support of other state institutions to accomplish the task.
The Regional Manager of the NRSC, Mr Samuel Obeng Asiamah, said road safety has become a major health issues in view of the many lives being lost annually through motor accidents.
He said six persons die on daily basis in the country while more than 2,000 people perish annually.
He said 42 per cent of the fatalities were pedestrians, 23 per cent were passengers and 23 per cent of pedestrians deaths recorded were children below 16 years.
Mr Asiamah indicated that 60 per cent of the crashes were caused by over speeding with 60 per cent of the fatalities involving persons between 18 and 55 years who constituted the productive workforce of the country while 70 per cent of deaths were males.
He said in 2010, the United Nations adopted a Decade of Action for Road Safety with five key pillars aimed at reducing road traffic crashes to the barest minimum.
The key components of the declaration which was signed by more than 100 countries including Ghana are managing road safety, ensuring safer road mobility, safer road user behaviour as well as safer vehicles and post-crash response.
The NRSC Regional Manager indicated that the Commission had so far implemented the National Road Safety Strategy one and two from 2001 and 2010 while the third phase of the strategy started in 2011 and expected to end in 2020.
He said the body has projected to reduce road fatalities to 810 from the current 1,738 annually. GNA