Transport Minister says road accidents are burdens on national economies

transport minister says road accidents are burdens on national economies

Social Nrsa Conference
Social Nrsa Conference

Spining

Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister for Transport, says road accidents placed a heavy burden on both national economies and households, since most victims were young and economically active providing for their families.

According to him, experts estimated that road traffic deaths and injuries in low and middle-income countries caused economic losses of up to five per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The situation in Africa, he said, was particularly severe due to rapid urbanisation, motorisation, and population growth.

Mr. Asiamah was speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) mid-year performance review conference in Kumasi.

The three-day conference sought to allow for a deeper reflection of efforts of the NRSA for the first half of the year while harnessing its creative potential to end the year on a high note.

It was also aimed at engaging its stakeholders on how to improve and position itself in the African Sub-region as the best agency in road safety management.

The conference, which was on the theme: “Harnessing creativity and innovation to foster transformational change in road safety management,” was also serving as a hub of ideas to engineer cost effective and practical solutions to road crashes issues.

Provisional statistics from the NRSA from January to July on road traffic accidents this year, indicated that a total of 8,869 cases were reported involving 15,239 vehicles.

Casualties comprised 1,443 fatalities, representing a 15.42 per cent decrease in the number of persons killed by road crashes within the same period last year.

Additionally, 9,218 persons sustained various injuries within the same period, a 0.87 per cent decrease in the number.

The Minister explained that since the importance of road safety in the developmental agenda could not be over emphasised, the sector would double its efforts in educating the populace to make the roads safe.

“We need strong institutions to exert control on the safety environment to build a firm safety culture for sustainable development,” he noted.

He assured that the Authority would augment its capacity to increase its visibility beyond the regional capitals and urged all to transfer knowledge in order to manage strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats observed in the practices of road safety.

Mr. Jermaine Nkrumah, the Board Chairman of NRSA, said the Authority had begun engaging stakeholders on a scheme that would reward and appreciate safer regions yearly.

He assured that the Authority would continue to work hard to keep reducing road crashes, adding that the board was committed to working with management to ensure that it improves logistics and staff motivation as necessities for attaining its objectives.

Dr. Daniel Asenso-Gyambibi, the Director of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Building and Road Research Institute, implored the Authority to take steps to separate pedestrians from road pavement as part of measures to reduce accidents.

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