Over the weekend, two accidents occurred in the Norther Region which robbed 20 people of their lives. The first accident occurred on Saturday at Savelugu on the Tamale-Bolgatanga highway where two were killed instantly. The next morning, 16 were killed at Yapei-Yipala on the Tamale-Buipe highway, with two more passengers dying later in hospital. The drivers in both accidents were amongst those killed and 70 others are said to be injured due to the crashes.
The first accident at Savelugu involved motorbike carrying firewood and a cargo truck. It is reported that the firewood became loose and caused the driver to lose balance and collide with the cargo truck. The driver of the cargo truck died instantly whilst the driver of the motorbike was pronounced dead later in hospital.
The second accident involving a bus carrying 70 passengers was on its way to Ejura when it attempted to overtake a cargo truck on a bend, proceeding to collide head on with another bus. 16 were instantly killed with the rest rushed to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) for treatment.
Just this morning another one involving a Kia Truck conveying tomatoes and an OA Transport bus occurred with a yet to be confirmed number of casualties at Buipe with victims rushed to the Accident and Emergency centre at the Tamale Teaching hospital.
Road safety in Ghana is a large concern for many with the Ministry of Transport submitting a proposal to the cabinet to empower the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC). The Minister of Transport, Hon. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has said that many of the problems stem from the commission’s inability to enforce road safety laws. He stated “the risk to road traffic deaths and injuries is real and very close to us all”, and pledged their commitment to addressing all issues relating to the commission.
However, it should be noted that road safety is improving with a 32% reduction in fatalities in 2017. Organizations like Amansan Television have over the years been advocating for road safety by bringing representatives from agencies like the National Road Safety Commission to educate their public and although improvements are being made, there is a lot left to work on.
Most in Ghana use public transport like the “trotros” but the age of the vehicles, the passengers’ capacity and safety precautions are all at the drivers’ discretion. Estimates show that Ghana loses over 230 million US dollars a year due to road accidents. This equates to 1.7% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with over 1,600 people killed a year. Without the correct legislation, Ghana’s roads will remain unsafe for all.