COVID-19: Road traffic deaths in Ghana decline by 14% according to the Road Safety Authority

The National Road Safety Authority says Ghana recorded a 14% reduction in road traffic deaths at the end of May 2020.

Accident on the Accra-Kumasi road

According to statistics on road traffic crashes, 5,465 crashes involving 9,163 vehicles were recorded. This resulted in 958 incidents of pedestrian knockdowns, 909 fatalities, and 5,703 injuries.

The Authority said this is a reduction in reported cases and fatalities by 5.22% and 14.49% respectively compared to the same period in 2019,

However, there was a 12.64% increase in fatalities involving motorcycle users over the period.

This can be attributed to the COVID-19 restrictions, including the three-week lockdown of Greater Accra, Kumasi in Ashanti Region, and Kasoa in the Central Region between March and April this year.

Restrictions on social and public gatherings, and the call for people to stay home if they do not have anything doing in town, has caused a significant reduction in the movement of vehicles, thereby reducing accidents.

This notwithstanding, the authority urged more caution from drivers and pedestrians.

“While the relative reduction is encouraging, the number of fatalities and injuries through road traffic crashes are still high. The Authority cautions drivers to minimize their travel speeds and avoid wrongful overtaking, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and driving tired. Pedestrians are also advised to cross the roads at designated/safe points,” it urged in a statement.

Find below a statement from the Authority

ROAD TRAFFIC DEATHS DECLINE BY 14% AS AT END OF MAY 2020

Road Traffic Crashes and its resultant fatalities and injuries have declined in the first five months of the year 2020. Provisional statistics on road traffic crashes from January to May, 2020 indicates that a total of 5,465 crashes involving 9,163 vehicles were recorded resulting in 958 incidents of pedestrian knockdowns, 909 fatalities and 5,703 injuries. The breakdown is as follows:

Compared to the same period in 2019, this year’s situation represents a reduction in cases reported, vehicles involved, pedestrian knockdowns, fatalities and injuries by 5.22%, 2.54%, 25.27%, 14.49% and 3.47% respectively. However, there was a 12.64% increase in fatalities involving motorcycle users over the same period.

Though the reductions can be partly attributed to the reduced motorization due to the lockdown policy of government as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, the Authority did not relent on its road safety education and advocacy programmes together with the Media and Civil Society Organisations as well as complimentary efforts in Enforcement of road traffic regulations by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and other stakeholders through engineering and emergency response in the period under consideration.

While the relative reduction is encouraging, the number of fatalities and injuries through road traffic crashes are still high. The Authority cautions drivers to minimize their travel speeds and avoid wrongful overtaking, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs and driving tired. Pedestrians are also advised to cross the roads at designated/safe points. Passengers must wear seatbelts and speak up against driver misbehaviour in traffic and Motorcycle riders and pillion riders must always wear their crash helmets when in traffic and stop on red at signalized intersections.

With the rains setting in, it is very crucial for vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles have very good tyres, wipers, lights and are roadworthy.

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