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Okada riders are our current headache as 600 die annually– Road Safety Authority

Source The Ghana report/Sefanam Agbobli

The National Road Safety Authority has decried the increasing level of motorcycle accidents on the country’s roads.

A total of 2,083 persons died in road traffic accidents between the period of January and November this year, data compiled by the Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has revealed.

The figure was as a result of about 12,000 road crashes which happened within the period, about 11,000 individuals also sustained carrying degrees of injury.

Out of the total number of fatalities, 656 were recorded from motorcycle accidents.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop by the NRSA in Accra, Director of planning and programmes at the Authority, Mr David Osafo Adonteng blamed the alarming figures on what he described as the misbehaviour of the motor riders.

“… We have to ensure that motorcycles stop the misbehaviour and wear their helmets. They must stop the misbehaviour in traffic. Unfortunately, it took us by surprise when others began using it for commercial purposes what you call Okada. And that’s where our headache is currently.

“Now, we used to record 210 deaths among motorcycles. It rose to 410 in 2016. As I speak to you, we’re recording more than 600 deaths so it’s gradually becoming a menace if it’s not already a menace” he said.

Efforts of the Authority

He stated that now that the commission has been upgraded into an authority, they will intensify their mandate to ensure the number of deaths on the country’s roads will be reduced by 1000 per year.

According to Mr Adonteng, the authority will start giving standards to the public transport industry to comply with.

Additionally, it will also regulate institutions including the Ghana Highways Authority, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and all other institutions that have a role to play in delivering service or infrastructure for road safety management.

“We will make sure they go by their own standards, failure to do so, we will give them the notice to comply with or take it further to the law court” he noted.

Christmas safety measures

With a focus on the Okada riders, Mr Adonteng said they were going to control them to ensure they do adhere to road traffic regulations.

He indicated that motorcycles were a major cause of the country’s road accidents.

“Last year between December 24-26, the country recorded 33 deaths which are so bad. We are going to make sure we reduce this figure drastically between those periods this year” he stated.

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