The Central Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mr Stephen Anokye, has called on political parties to create a safe environment for road users since most of their campaign trips will begin and end with road transport.
He said it was unfortunate that vehicular transportation to political programmes in the country were characterised by poor driving standards, poor vehicle maintenance, overloading, over speeding, drunk driving, as well as fatigue driving.
Mr Anokye, who said this at a day’s workshop held by the commission for the various political parties in the Central Region in Cape Coast on Tuesday, said road transport played a pivotal role in the socio-economic and development agenda of the country’s political system.
The workshop, which was attended by about 50 participants, was aimed at promoting a peaceful and crash-free election, was on the theme; “Road safety, my responsibility, your responsibility and our collective responsibility towards a peaceful and crash-free election.”
He pleaded with all political parties and their supporters, as well as Ghanaians at large, to rededicate themselves to responsible road safety management since it was a collective responsibility, and our neglect of our responsibilities could affect anyone, one way or another.
According to him, statistics available to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) suggests that previous election years has seen disturbing development in relation to road safety.
He observed that increased political activities had partly been identified as contributing to the rise in road-crash related deaths and injuries. He added that as at the end of May 2012, a total of 5,918 crashes had been recorded nationwide, with 928 persons losing their lives and 5,670 being injured.
For the Central Region, he said, a total of 621 crashes had been recorded as at June 2012, with 113 fatalities and 780 injuries.
He said 90 per cent of these road crashes were as a result of human error, and advised that if much attention was not given to road safety this year, the number of fatalities would increase drastically.
Mr Thomas Tawiah Aquinas Quansah, Deputy Central Regional Minister, called on political party leaders to advise their members to conform to road safety rules and regulations, particularly in this election year.
He also advised them to plan their time and travels well and also avoid the use of unnecessary motorcades which also contributed to road crashes.
Mr Quansah further advised political parties not to fight among themselves since insults and lies would not win them votes, but rather live in peace and harmony and also accept the results of the December polls in good faith.-GNA