Road safety, urgent call for action

Road safety, urgent call for action

Ghana faces a critical road safety challenge, with road traffic accidents rising sharply.

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In 2023, over 15,000 accidents were reported, resulting in nearly 2,300 deaths and over 15,000 injuries.

Vulnerable groups, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, are disproportionately affected, highlighting systemic issues in road design, traffic enforcement and public awareness.

 High-profile accidents, such as the March 2024 crash on the Accra-Tema Motorway, killing 17, and a January 2024 school bus accident in Kumasi, killing six children, have intensified public concern.

These incidents underscore the urgent need for effective road safety measures. Key factors contributing to the high accident rate include poor road infrastructure, reckless driving, inadequate law enforcement, unroadworthy vehicles, and the lack of safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists.

Many roads are poorly maintained, with potholes and insufficient lighting, making driving hazardous. Reckless driving behaviours, often due to inadequate driver training and awareness, exacerbate the situation.

Traffic laws are poorly enforced, partly due to limited resources and corruption, creating a culture of impunity. The government, along with NGOs, has initiated various programmes to combat this crisis.

The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) leads efforts to improve road safety through educational campaigns, better infrastructure and stricter traffic law enforcement.

Major road projects aim to rehabilitate key highways, enhance signage, and install streetlights. To address road safety comprehensively, Ghana needs to strengthen law enforcement, improve driver training and licensing, invest in better road infrastructure, promote public awareness, and encourage public-private partnerships. By tackling these issues, Ghana can reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries, ensuring safer roads for all citizens.

Gabriel Quaye Morrison
University of Media, Arts and Communications, Institute of Journalism (UniMAC-GIJ)
E-mail: [email protected]

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