Cape Coast, Sept. 08, GNA - Participants at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on road safety, have expressed worry about the gross disregard for road traffic laws and regulations and indiscipline on the part of road users including drivers, riders and pedestrians.
This, they said, was a major contributing factor to the high incidents of road accidents in the country.
The meeting, put together by the Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC), was to deliberate on how to mitigate the unbearable traffic situation and stem the increasing incidents of road accidents on major highways in the Region.
Participants were made up of representatives from the Regional Security Council, (REGSEC), the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Urban Roads, Ghana Highway Authority, National Ambulance, DVLA, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the media.
They deliberated extensively on strategies to reduce road accidents in the region and came out with a resolution to tackle the menace head-on, which included the need for intensified road safety education for drivers, riders and pedestrians in general.
The stakeholders have therefore, tasked the NRSA, the Police MTTD and other road sector agencies to double their activities and work together to ensure compliance with road regulations for free flow of traffic and ultimately reduce road accidents, which led to the loss of lives.
Additionally, they noted that some specific portions on the Accra-Cape Coast highway, were recording frequent accidents and requested for the re-engineering of accident-prone portions of the highway by engineers of the road sector agencies.
Giving an overview of road accident situation in the Region, Ms Linda Affotey Annang, Regional Head of the NRSA, said the Central Region was the fourth most accident-prone region after Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions.
She said most of the accidents that happened in the region occurred on the N1, but noted that driver inattentiveness had taken over from over speeding as the leading cause of crashes and its resultant fatalities.
She mentioned other challenges to include limited signage and markings on the road, lack of pedestrian walkway and safe crossings and called for the dualization of major highways in the country.
Ms Annang assured that the NRSA would continue to deploy multi-faceted approaches and strategies including outreach, enforcement and engineering measures, to deal with key causes of issues of inattentiveness in road usage and speeding on the road.
For his part, Superintendent Stephen Awuah, Central Regional Police MTTD Commander who briefed the stakeholders on strategies for combating road accidents, announced that the Regional Police command had formed an Accident Preventive Squad to check the carnages on the roads.
He said the squad would patrol from Winneba to Cape Coast and check over speeding, drunk driving, among other indiscipline behaviours on the highway.
Supt. Awuah added that the Police would continue to embark on the 'arrive alive campaign' to educate drivers and other road users on the need to drive safe and adhere to road traffic regulations.
This, he believed would go a long way to reduce accidents on the Winneba-Cape Coast highway.
The Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, charged the stakeholders to put in place pragmatic steps to ensure compliance on the road, for free flow of traffic and ultimately reduce road accidents leading to loss of lives.
She encouraged the stakeholders to collaborate and work together with commitment to drastically reduce the rampant road accidents and gridlock on the roads.
Mrs Assan, further called on the various MMDAs to be up and doing, and support all efforts of the RCC to reduce traffic congestion and road accidents in their jurisdictions.
Mr Ernest Arthur, the MCE of Cape Coast, outlined a number of measures being employed by his outfit to address the issues of street lights, tricycle riders, among others in the Metropolis.
He said the Assembly would soon clamp down on underage tricycle riders in the Cape Coast Metropolis and beyond, adding that, tricycles would not be allowed to ply the highways, while riders without licenses would also not be allowed to ride in the area.