Bus operators face suspension as NRSA begins safety inspection
The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has intensified efforts to address road accidents with daily inspection of vehicles at bus terminals.
A team is dispatched to various bus terminals to conduct a thorough assessment of vehicles and drivers before any journey.
The poor condition of vehicles, lack of maintenance, driver fatigue and disregard for safety measures are some causes of accident which the NRSA seeks to address.
The NRSA is mandated to reduce road traffic crashes through enforcement and implementation of road safety standards while ensuring that institutions providing road safety-related services comply with these standards.
Therefore, the NRSA has established a Regulations, Inspections & Compliance Directorate, which has employed 100 road safety inspectors for the exercise.
The inspectors are required to conduct pre-trip inspections, an inspection of road construction works and road safety undertakings, among others.
The objective is to ensure that vehicles and drivers meet the minimum safety requirement for the journey prior to departure.
The exercise will also ensure compliance with recent regulatory directives and technical assistance if required.
The focus is the bus terminals providing inter-city services noted for high fatalities across the country.
Inspectors are required to visit terminals daily and at various times, including at night.
They are expected to check the minimum safety conditions of the vehicle and the suitability of the driver assigned for the trip.
Good tyres, availability of seatbelt, the functionality of braking systems and lights (headlight and trafficator indicators), availability of retro-reflective tapes for improved visibility at night, advance warning triangle, First-Aid Kits, the validity of insurance and roadworthy certification and vehicle logbooks are some of the things that comprise the checklist.
For the driver, the licence is examined, his/her last trip record to confirm maximum driving hours and random check on alcohol intake.
The Head of Regulations, Inspection and Compliance at the NSRA, Mr Kwame Kodua Atuahene, explained to theghanareport.com that severe sanctions would be applied soon.
“In the fullness of time, operators will suffer suspension of services and revocation of licenses depending on the severity of breaches and administrative penalties”.
In the meantime, where the requirements are not met, “we engage the transport company and union leaders to remedy the lapses or change the affected bus or driver for the trip”.
To ensure the sustainability of the exercise, the National Road Safety Regulations, due for parliament approval, mandates the licensing of transport operations which will all operators designate or appoint Road Safety Officers (RSO).
The RSOs will be trained to conduct and keep a record of such inspections based on a checklist developed by the NRSA with controls and sanctions for compromises.
Mr Atuahene added that road traffic crashes are due to indiscipline by road users and institutional irresponsibility.
“If we can get institutions to act responsibly, we shall be on route to turning the RTC (Road Traffic Crashes) curve downwards,” he observed.
What is the trend for road traffic crashes?
A total of 2,589 lives were lost to road crashes in 2020, the highest since 1991, according to data from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) NRSA.
This figure represents a 13% rise compared to the 2,284 registered in 2019.
It was also consistent with high fatalities associated with election years as citizens hit the polls in December 2020.
The first quarter of 2021 has already posted 771 fatalities, an increase of almost 50% within the same period in 2020.
This figure also exceeds COVID-19 deaths at the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
To put it in perspective, close to nine people die daily.
Looking at the bigger picture, a total of 51,157 people have been killed in road accidents since 1991.
Some major accidents in 2021
- A road crash in February killed 17 passengers and injured 44 others early Wednesday, February 3.A police statement said the accident occurred when two passenger buses travelling opposite directions collided head-on at a town near Buipe, a community along the Kumasi-Tamale highway.
Sixteen persons died on the spot, while one more died at a hospital where the injured were receiving treatment.
The deceased included 12 males, five females, and one child.
The accident involved two buses with registration numbers GT 3345-16 and AC 1699-20.
They were travelling from Kumasi to Zebila and from Garu to Kumasi, respectively, when they ran into each other.
- Nineteen people were reported dead within 12 hours after two bloody road accidents at separate locations.Three fatalities were recorded in the Central Region and 16 in the Eastern Region on Friday, February 26, 2021.
Joy FM’s Alfred Amoh reported that a truck conveying mourners from Assin Nyankomase to Assin Misrenyame veered off the Assin Nyankomase-Assin Senchiem main road and somersaulted several times.
Three passengers died on the spot, and several others sustained serious injuries, including the driver.
The accident involved two Kia Grandbird buses with registration numbers GT 5629-19 and GE 5510-15, one of which was a VIP bus.
According to reports, the people who died included the driver and mate of the VIP bus.
A total of 13 males and three females lost their lives.
- Three persons got burnt to death when the Mercedez Benz saloon vehicle they were travelling with was involved in an accident on the Spintex road in Accra.One passenger from the Benz was however rescued and currently in critical condition at the LEKMA Hospital.
The driver of the Mercedez Benz vehicle reportedly ignored warning signals of an earlier accident on the road and run into a 20 footer container that had fallen unto the road.
Police personnel were present at the scene directing traffic and were supervising the removal of the container from the road when the second accident occurred and resulted in the death of the three persons.
The accident happened on Saturday, March 20, 2021.
- Five people died on the spot after an accident at Obretema in the Suhum Municipality involving a Mercedes Sprinter Bus.They were travelling to Accra from Kumasi on the bus with registration number GW 7444 – 21 when the crash occurred at about 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 12.
According to the police, one of the car tyres burst causing the driver, 35-year-old Eric Ohemang, to lose control.
- Twelve people perished, while seven others sustained serious injuries after an accident on the Buipe-Tamale highway.Eleven died on the spot, including an eight-year-old girl at Alipe in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region.
A Toyota minibus with registration number AS 2872-20 veered off its lane and collided head-on with a DAF tipper truck with registration number NR 578 loaded with sand.
There were 18 persons on board travelling from Tamale to Kumasi.
The driver of the minibus was one of the people who died on the spot.
The crash occurred on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at around 7:30 pm.
The accident occurred after a commercial vehicle (trotro) rammed into a faulty trailer parked in the middle of the road at about 4:30 am on Wednesday, April 14.
The trailer driver failed to place any sign indicating that his vehicle had broken down, according to eyewitnesses.
The trotro driver, on top speed, could not see the stationary truck, which carries a Togolese number plate, resulting in the crash.
The driver of the trotro and another occupant are reported dead.
Personnel from the Ghana police and the Ambulance Service were at the scene to rescue trapped occupants from the vehicle.
- Three Pedestrians Killed In Car Racing Near Burma CampThree innocent persons died while three others are battling for survival after they were knocked down by a car engaged in a racing competition at the 37 Lorry Station area in Accra.They were killed by an over speeding Toyota Camry Salon car with registration number GR- 1708 -21 driving from the Trade Fair direction and heading towards the 37 roundabout, which lost control and crashed.
Together with a Mercedes Benz saloon car, the drivers defied road regulation and engaged in a competition within the high-security military zone where the Burma Camp is also located.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 PM on Wednesday, April 14, the same day two persons lost their lives in an accident at Tesano in Accra, making it 17 deaths within two days.