Ghana’s former Deputy Ambassador to Dr Charles Dwamena, has advised all road users, especially drivers of commercial vehicles, to adhere strictly to road safety measures so as to reduce the carnage on our roads.
Speaking on the Asaase Radio breakfast show, Dr China, as Dr Dwamena is popularly called, indicated that the high level of indiscipline among some road users largely contribute to the needless loss of lives. He admitted that although Ghana’s road network may not be the very best, with proper discipline on the part of all rod users, especially commercial drivers, a lot of the accidents can be avoided.
He disclosed that over 1100 lives were lost in 2020 due to road accidents, far more than the total number of deaths recorded as a result of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, a situation he calls unacceptable.
He posited that, road safety is a shared responsibility that revolves around 6 key pillars- management, the road network, driving speed, road-worthiness of vehicles, road users and post-crash care.
According to Dr China, Government of Ghana has put in place the necessary measures and legislation to control the driving speed and other driving vices such as drunk driving, non-usage of seat belts, among others and has even gone ahead to greatly improve upon the post-crash care through the provision of modern ambulances to all constituencies and the ambitious plan to ensure that there is a district hospital in all districts of the country.
Notwithstanding these gains, Dr China stated categorically that the singular act that has the potential of instantly reducing road accidents is the individual resolve of road users to be disciplined each time the hit the road. According to him, if passengers stop getting on and off vehicles at unapproved spots, if drivers resolve not to drink and drive and decide to avoid senseless overtaking and over speeding, irrespective of how poor the road networks may be, the carnage on the roads will be reduced to a very large extent.
Making reference to the WHO decade of action for road safety report, he warned that currently road traffic accidents are the 9th out of 10 leading causes of deaths and that if we do not take the necessary actions now and discipline ourselves, road accidents will become the 5th leading cause of deaths by 2030.
He therefore used the platform to appeal to all and sundry to join Government’s efforts aimed at improving road safety.