Accra, Dec. 18, GNA – The Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a civil society organisation has cautioned drivers to avoid alcohol during the Christmas season to protect the lives of passengers.
It said drivers should not drink and drive, desist from careless driving, over speeding and overtaking; use helmet and seatbelt while ensuring that their vehicles were in good condition and properly maintained before hitting the road.
The caution was given in a statement signed by Mr Labram M. Musah, the Programmes Director VALD and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday.
It said: “The festive seasons are here again and everyone is preparing towards its celebration. This celebration allows people to travel far and near to shop whiles others also travel to their hometowns to celebrate with families.
“We at the VALD would like to see everyone next year alive, but this can only be achieved if we all recognized that alcohol is classified as a major risk factor for road traffic death and disability in the world.”
The statement said despite it being a happy and joyous festive occasion, many were those who would either lose their lives or become disabled permanently due to lack of simple adherence to road traffic regulations.
It urged pedestrians to look both ways before crossing, should be alert when walking along the road and should cross the road at the most appropriate and prescribed places, adding that; “the major cause of road accidents in Ghana is due to over speeding.”
The statement said road crashes were one of the topmost public health challenges in the country, which was responsible for the death of over 2000 people in 2016.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that road traffic injuries will rise to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030,” it said.
The statement called on the road safety authorities, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to further step up efforts that would reduce the road crashes.
It added: “Violations of the Road Traffic Regulations are just too many; and many at times the police look helpless.
“Road traffic death and disability is avoidable hence government owes it a duty to invest in road safety by employing more personnel dedicated to road safety, acquire more sophisticated and modern road safety equipment such as breathalysers, speed cameras and guns among others to reduce the deaths and disability on our roads”.