The Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), May Obiri-Yeboah, addressed a press conference last week to give the nation an indication of safety on the country’s roads and the picture painted gives room for concern.
A total of 1,700 vehicles were involved in road accidents in the first month of 2018, and to give a clearer picture, a total of 1,440 accidents occurred during the period under review. Sixty-five lives were claimed including celebrated dance-hall queen, “Ebony Reigns”.
Usually, the Christmas season is the period that records high numbers of vehicular accidents because people travel to and from their ‘hometowns’, and the festive mood is at its peak; therefore the likelihood of accidents is relatively high.
But when things have died down and people are back to work, and normalcy is restored, the incidence of vehicular accidents is not expected to be so high but the statistics collated by the NRSC sends shivers down the spines of many.
The NRSC attributes the accidents to negligence and disregard for road traffic regulations which has been the over-riding factor over the years, and the worry is that after so much public education and sensitization, the accidents keep occurring.
The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is proposing conducting some of its examinations in local languages to enable those with little formal education to be examined in the language of their choice and we believe this might be helpful because it would reduce the need to employ ‘middlemen’ to act as go-betweens in order to secure a driving license.
When the potential driver is tested, be it in local parlance or not, it ensures that the candidate’s aptitude tested, and ensures the candidate should be versed in road traffic regulations, and will be able to decipher road signs better.
What is even more painful is the negligence of the driver often leads to pedestrians and innocent by-standers often affected by the accident, leaving many maimed for life or even killed in the process. We can infer that road accidents is among the leading causes of death in Ghana and we cannot allow this to be the case.
We need to attach more importance to issues of road safety because the number of casualties it claims is abnormally high. Probably, the accidents will reduce when we successfully conduct driver examinations in local languages for the benefit of all category of drivers.