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Road Accidents In Ghana: Causes, Effects And The Way Forward

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The Campaign against road accidents in Ghana appears to be a fruitless endeavour as the menace continue to be one of the leading cause of death. A recent survey by the World Health Organization revealed that road accident is the eighth cause of death in the world and since 1990, there has been a staggering 46% of deaths coming from a road accident. By the year 2030, an analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that road accident could become the fifth cause of death in the world, with the highest number expected to be from Africa. Road accidents have a significant impact on our societies due to their long term effect on victims.

In Ghana, the National Road safety commission, (NRSC) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana police service, has been at the forefront in championing the sensitization agenda towards the reduction of road accidents in Ghana. Unfortunately, they have not received the maximum support from stakeholders. Their efforts are almost always in vain due to a number of factors. These factors include but not limited to the indiscipline on the road by drivers, bad road infrastructure and sometimes unprofessional conducts from those who are expected to know the right thing and do it.

The leading cause of road accident in Ghana largely lies on motorists. Majority of these motorist do not adhere to road traffic regulations either as a result of sheer negligence or lack of proper training. As the practice has been, most commercial drivers in Ghana end up behind the wheels after few months of apprenticeship as a “mate”. They maneuver their way through the system and once they can accelerate and brake, they assume all is well with them. The lack of proper training coupled with the little knowledge on road traffic regulations, accounts for some of these accidents.

Secondly, some drivers are so indisciplined that they tend to forget about the consequences of their negligence while on the road. Some of them will overtake where they are not supposed to, speed above-stipulated speed limits and speak on mobile phones while driving. Any of these pose serious threats to road safety. Speeding can easily get one involved in an accident of which most drivers are aware of its danger but will not care.

Most car accidents are caused by the bad decisions that drivers make which have already been enumerated above. However, what is also point noting is that sometimes these accidents occur through no fault of the driver. Poor road infrastructure also contributes to the incessant carnage on our roads. Poor road conditions lead to accidents that injure drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

This means that the government also has a serious role to play as far as reducing road accidents is concerned. Poor road conditions deny the driver a good ride. When roads deteriorate to a certain level they become dangerous for use. In Ghana, most of our roads are full of potholes, uneven road surfaces, broken concrete, exposed rebar, sinkholes, and road cracks. A driver can burst a tire while driving on such road which can lead to loss of control thereby colliding with other cars or running into a ditch or even injuring and or killing pedestrians.

The width of the travel lane does not only influence the comfort of driving, but is also an important parameter affecting the road crash frequency as well as crash severity. For any functional classification of roadway, whether it is an arterial road or a local road, and for any environment of the roadway, whether it is an urban road or a rural road, when the lane width reduces, the probability of crashes increases drastically.

The impact of road accident is obviously damning. If you are lucky enough, you may suffer some minor injuries. Sometimes, if the victims are not lucky enough, they sustain severe injuries that result in serious physical defects. If a person does not properly treat cuts from accident, they may suffer skin infections and also leave permanent scars which can only be removed through expensive cosmetic surgery.

Severe injuries can lead to wrist, arm, leg, ankle, collarbone and rib fractures. Many car accident victims suffer multiple fractures. Some fractures may heal in a matter of weeks. However, a severe fracture may take an extended period of time to heal and could result in life-long disability and even death. Road accidents leaves victims with emotional imbalances including depression.

A new World Bank study, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, finds that reducing road traffic deaths and injuries could result in substantial long-term income gains for low- and middle-income countries. According to the report, deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes affect medium and long-term growth prospects by removing prime age adults from the workforce and reducing productivity due to the burden of injuries.

At a recent training workshop on trauma reporting for journalists from the Ashanti and three regions of the north, Senior Specialist on Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr. Dominic Konadu Yeboah revealed that Ghana spends up to $230 million every year treating injuries and traffic fatalities, To make matters worse, there are fewer than 80 orthopedics in the country, limiting access to emergency treatment. Statistics from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service indicates that road accidents in the country continue to increase with many more people dying from road crashes. More men than women perish in road crashes with some being pronounced dead on arrival at health facilities. Among the challenges with injuries from road accidents are delays in transporting road accident victims to nearby health facilities and lack of knowledge in handling such victims or administering first aid that could buy victims more time before reaching a nearby hospital. Out of the 2,341 killed in 2018 in road accidents; 795 are pedestrians.

Data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTT D) of the Ghana Police Service has revealed that the total number of commuters killed in road traffic accidents in 2018 recorded a 12.76% jump over the figure for 2017. This means persons killed rose from 2,076 in 2017 to a total of 2,341 in 2018. It comprises 1,796 males and 545 females.

In conclusion, it is clear that ensuring road safety is a shared responsibility. Road users should be disciplined and abide by road regulations at all time. It is also important for the National Road safety commission to strengthen its road safety campaigns and ensure strict compliance. With the passage of the National Road Safety Authority Bill and subsequent transformation of the commission into an Authority, we are hopeful that the commission will now be in a better position to better regulate activities in the road transport sector to ensure sanity. The burden of a road traffic accident in Ghana is high. Improved road infrastructure will also go a long way to reduce the canker. This means that the government should make it a priority to improve road infrastructure and also maintain them to last. The police MTTD should ensure that drivers who fault road regulations are made to face the full rigours of the law. In that way, it will serve as a deterrent others.

Submitted by: Transport and Safety Management Students, Level 150 (University of Cape Coast)

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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Opinions

You Are A Hypocrite – Maurice Ampaw Tells Prof. Jane Naana

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Maurice Ampaw, a private legal practitioner, has said that the vice-presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, has no moral right to comment on Kennedy Agyapong’s recent outburst.

Naana Opoku-Agyemang on Thursday waded into the issue, likening Kennedy Agyapong’s verbal abuse of a High Court judge to the infamous Montie Three case.

The NDC running mate intimated that the conduct of the MP is a slap in the face of the law and graver than the Montie Three. She noted that a fair application of the law should see the MP tried in a court for verbally attacking a judge.

But in a sharp rebuttal on Neat FM, Maurice Ampaw called Opoku-Agyemang out for being a hypocrite.

Maurice Ampaw rebuffed her statement that the conduct of Kennedy Agyapong is graver than the Montie Three, stating that the Montie Three did not only abuse the then Chief Justice verbally but also threatened to rape and kill her.

Ampaw said that Opoku-Agyemang’s hypocrisy is one that he is yet to witness in the country.

“There is a difference between Kennedy Agyapong’s behaviour and that of the Montie Three. Prof is a hypocrite and doesn’t have the moral right to comment on this case. I can’t describe her hypocrisy. She is the last person I’m expecting to comment on this case. The Montie Three guys committed a crime. Threats of death and attempt to rape are criminal matters”.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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A Party Of Plagiarism, How Can We Copy Your Manifesto? — Omane Boamah Quizzes NPP

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Former Communication Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Dr. Omane Boamah has replied the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu who chide the NDC to feel free and copy the NPP manifesto.

According to Omane Boamah, he wonder why the NDC will copy their rival, NPP’s manifesto when it is clearly known that their leader, Nana Addo plagiarises speeches.

In a twitter post, Mr. Boamah replied John Boadu by saying;

“@NAkufoAddo how can those who plagiarize speeches accuse NDC of waiting to copy from your manifesto?”

Source: GhanaFeed.com

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Military Personnel At Banda Look Like Rebels On Drugs – Asiedu Nketia

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The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has claimed that military officers deployed to maintain peace at the Banda Constituency, are alcoholics with the looks of “rebels on drugs”.

According General Mosquito, the troops are in bed with the ruling NPP and not discharging their core duties of maintaining law and order in the constituency.

He said, “The military officers on duty have no business to stop people from taking part in the registration exercise. They can’t block the road to stop people from registering. You should see those military officers on duty smelling of alcohol; blowing ‘fuse’ when they were talking to me. They looked like rebels on drugs and you could not look into their eyes and if you don’t take care, you will get drunk talking them.”

Asiedu Nketia was reacting to the presence of military men detailed in the Banda Constituency to ensure sanity at EC registration centres after tensions had led to the demise of one person about a week ago. He spoke on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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