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Police Decry Political Interference In Road Traffic Laws
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The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has decried consistent political and social interference by influential persons in society when enforcing the road traffic regulations.

The Deputy Western Regional Commander of the MTTD, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Kobena Essel, expressed this concern at a day’s orientation workshop organised by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) in Takoradi on Tuesday.

He said frequent interference by politicians, chiefs, civil society organizations and influential persons in society when someone is arrested by the police for various road traffic offences is becoming worrisome.

He said the situation is hampering the full implementation of the provisions in the Road Traffic Act 683 and the Road Traffic Regulation 2180.

He said since the Department was established with a mandate to ensure full compliance of the road traffic laws, it is incumbent upon all stakeholders to cooperate and support their work in order to ensure safety on the road.

The event brought together staff of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Information Services Department (ISD) from crash-prone districts in the Region so that they could collaborate with the NRSC in educating Ghanaians on road safety issues.

ASP Essel blamed overspeeding, drunk-driving, non-observance of road traffic regulations, fatigue-driving, among other human and mechanical errors, as some major causes of motor accidents in the country and appealed for cooperation of all Ghanaians in ensuring a crash-free society.

He said it behooves on the MTTD to enforce and educate all road users on the traffic regulations and, therefore, need the support of all Ghanaians and institutions to accomplish the task.

The outgoing Regional Manager of the NRSC, Mr. Samuel Obeng Asiamah, said road safety has become a major health issue, in view of the many lives being lost annually through motor accidents.

He said six persons die on daily basis in the country while more than 2,000 people perish annually.

He said 42 per cent of the fatalities were pedestrians, 23 percent passengers whilst 23 per cent of pedestrians deaths recorded were children below 16 years.

Mr. Asiamah said 60 per cent of the crashes were caused by over speeding with 60 per cent of the fatalities involving persons between 18 and 55 years, who constituted the productive workforce of the country while 70 per cent of the deaths were males.

He said in 2010, the United Nations adopted a Decade of Action for Road Safety with five key pillars aimed at reducing road traffic crashes to the barest minimum.

The key components of the declaration, which was signed by over 100 countries around the world including Ghana, are managing road safety, ensuring safer road mobility, safer road user behaviour as well as safer vehicles and post-crash response.

The NRSC Regional Manager indicated that the Commission had so far implemented the National Road Safety Strategy one and two between 2001 and 2010 while the third phase of the strategy started in 2011 and expected to end in 2020, and has projected to reduce road fatalities to 810 from the current 1,738.annually.
Source: GNA

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