The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has called on the government to tackle the rampant road accidents in the country.
Their plea follows the Dompoase accident on the Elmina-Takoradi Highway which claimed 34 lives and left a significant number injured and another on the Kumasi Abrepo Highway a day later.
The party in a statement signed by Communications Director, Paa Kow Ackon, challenged the government to “declare war on corruption, which contributes directly and indirectly to the unacceptably high levels of road traffic accidents in our country.”
The party called for the integration of Road Traffic Injury Prevention into the Development and Management of road infrastructure.
The PPP said the integration should also comprise of the provision and inspection of safer vehicles, law enforcement, mobility planning, the provision of health and hospital services, child welfare services and urban and environmental planning.
The statement read; ACT ON ROAD ACCIDENTS NOW! – PPP
The Progressive People’s Party wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families, who have lost their loved ones, and sympathy to those who have been injured following the tragic road accidents at Dompoase on the Elmina-Takoradi Highway on 14th January, 2020 and the Kumasi Abrepo Highway, on 15th January, 2020. We wish to thank all the emergency service providers and individuals involved in assisting the victims.
Ghanaians traveling by road and never returning home, leaving behind shattered families, hundreds of people spending months and years in hospital after terrible accidents and many not being able to return to their normal life, are critical public health problems and development crisis which must not be side stepped by any government.
Available information from the World Health Organization and the World Bank indicates that road traffic injuries alone cost Ghana 1.5% of our gross national product, which is more than the total development aid we receive.
We are challenging the government to declare war on corruption, which contributes directly and indirectly to the unacceptably high levels of road traffic accidents in our country.
As a party, we are committed to dealing with the corruption of these problems. State institutions such as the DVLA, NRSC, MTTD, Highways Authority and others must be strengthened in the enforcement of legislation to control speed and alcohol consumption, mandating the use of seatbelts, crash helmets, and the safer design and use of roads and vehicles.
Having ambulances to transport patients to medical facilities is helpful but studies have shown, that the primary factor in reducing mortality from trauma is not the speed of transportation but the administration of life-saving care prior to arrival at the hospital.
Important aspects in addressing mortality on our roads which a PPP government will explore are the towing of unsafe vehicles from our roads with a sense of urgency and the construction of inter-regional highways.
We recommend that Road traffic injury prevention must be integrated into the development and management of road infrastructure, the provision and inspection of safer vehicles, law enforcement, mobility planning, the provision of health and hospital services, child welfare services, urban and environmental Planning.
A PPP government will ensure that, by the end of our first term in office, every town and village will have at least one licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within 5-10 miles that will be on call every day of every year.
We will reward commercial vehicle drivers who become certified in basic first aid and crash scene management with an incentive such as quarterly payments of GHc300, disbursed into their bank accounts.
With the implementation of the National Identification System, we will ensure that reckless drivers are not given the opportunity and license to repeat their expensive mistakes.
In as much as we agree that human error contributes greatly to such fatalities on our roads, the spiritual aspect cannot be down played. We therefore appeal to Leaders of Religious institutions to encourage their members to fast and pray against such incidents.
Whiles we believe that attitudinal change is the most desired answer, so do we accept as true, that leadership is an action, not a position and the only safe ship in a storm is leadership.
Paa Kow Ackon