49 deaths in 20 days forces NRSA to clamp down on rickety vehicles

The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has served notice that all rickety vehicles being used for commercial purposes in the country will be impounded beginning next week.

The announcement follows the alarming spate of road accidents recorded in the country. A total of 49 deaths in six road crashes has been recorded in the last 20 days.

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These include breadwinners and human capital adversely affecting families and the nation. The NRSA estimates that the country loses $230 million annually to road carnage.

Director of Planning and Programmes at the NRSA, David Adonteng, who raised concerns about the death rate stated that it was not what the expected for that period in January.

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This has compelled the authority and other stakeholder agencies to collaborate and embark on drastic measures to avert the trend.

“We have earmarked the next two weeks to move to all these transport operators and do the inspection with the DVLA, with the police and vehicles that are rickety that are not roadworthy…we will flash them out,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.

“Whichever vehicles that we find out is not standard for commercial purposes will be taken out of the system,” he stressed.

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Even though testing of commercial vehicles is a challenge to the DVLA, he revealed that devices that can detect road worthiness have been available and the licensing authority must implement mechanisms to ensure that substandard passenger vehicles are prohibited from operating.
The actions to be taken will also include inspection of drivers licences and unauthorised drivers will be sanctioned.

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He said the NRSA scaled up education campaigns to engage the general public on road safety in the last three months but indiscipline and human errors by drivers and motorcycle riders are eroding their efforts.

He is advocating an intensive media campaign to create heightened safety awareness by road users.

Fourteen days into the New Year, 34 Ghanaians died after a head-on collision between two buses at Dompoase in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipality. A baby was killed in the accident on the Cape-Coast Elmina highway. A 10-year-old girl survived that accident but her parents didn’t.

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Another accident was recorded on January 15 in which a commercial vehicle collided with a tipper truck killing one person in the process while injuring 10 others at Abrepo Junction in the Ashanti Region.

The Cape Coast – Kasoa highway had its share of the accidents on February 1, which claimed five lives after a failed overtaking by a cargo truck resulted in a crash with a Toyota minibus.

February 2 also witnessed another accident on the Accra-Tema Motorway when two vehicles crashed snuffing the lives out of six persons.

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Two accidents were also recorded on February 3. A second-year student of the University for Development Studies, (UDS), Wa campus lost his life in one of the accidents at Bonyanto a suburb of West Gonja district of the Savannah Region.

Two more persons died in the other accident in which two motorcycles crashed into a truck in separate road accidents.

A total of 2,284 lives were lost in 2019 based on provisional data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD).

In all 13,877 crashes were recorded involving 22,789 vehicles.

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