Cape Coast, Nov 22, GNA - Commercial drivers in the Central Region are the lead cause of road accidents in the Region, the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has said.
The NRSA said the Region recorded 571 road crashes, mainly caused by commercial vehicles between January and October this year as compared to 530 over the same period in 2020, representing a 7.7 per cent increase.
However, persons who died from the accidents fell to 193 from 208, representing a 7.3 per cent decline.
Ms Linda Affotey-Annang, the Regional Director of NRSA, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast on Friday.
She expressed worry that despite the relentless campaigns against road indiscipline in the region, road accidents increased from 768 from last year to 826, resenting a 7.8 per cent increase.
Though the number of vehicles involved in the accidents decreased to 1,234 from 1,245, the number of private vehicles increased from 411 to 430.
On pedestrian knockdown, the figure rose from 174 to 205, of which 66 were killed while 139 had various degrees of injuries, a phenomenon she described as ‘unacceptable’ saying, pedestrians were vulnerable road users who needed to be protected.
Among others, Ms Afotey-Annan mentioned speeding, the use of drugs, driving tired, wrongful overtaking, inexperienced drivers at the wheels and general disregard for road regulations among the leading causes of road accidents.
She also identified inattentive or distractive driving as a factor that needed attention.
"They usually have earphones on, while others intermittently change music being played or watch the sights and scenes along the road and so on.
Such activities usually lead to loss of control of the vehicle, causing accidents in most cases,” she noted.
To reduce the rate of road accidents and its debilitating effects as Christmas approaches, Ms Afotey-Annan advised drivers to adhere strictly to road signs and regulations to “keep them alive for themselves and their families.”
She asked passengers to speak up when drivers or other road users disregard road safety regulations and appealed to pedestrians to use the crossing signs and footbridges, where they were available, to cross the roads safely.
Taking stock of this year's activities, Ms Affottey-Annang said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority in the Region had undertaken a series of road safety educational campaigns at accident-prone areas and in the communities.
Going forward, she said, the NRSA would deploy personnel in collaboration with stakeholders such as the DVLA, Police MTTD and GPRTU, among others to ensure compliance with road safety regulations and behavioural change, especially among drivers.
"All and sundry must play their respective roles to reduce road crashes because, road safety is a shared responsibility," she appealed.