More young men die in road crashes, NRSA reveals

More young men die in road crashes, NRSA reveals
Road Crash

Statistics from the (NRSA) have revealed a concerning gender disparity in road crash fatalities in the Region, with more males than females succumbing to accidents in 2023. Out of the total 65 deaths recorded last year, 85% were males, representing 55 fatalities, while the remaining 15% were females, amounting to 10 deaths. The situation has sparked worry among stakeholders, especially considering that a significant number of those involved in the crashes were young people.

Mr. John Quarshie, the Principal Transport Assistant at NRSA for the Upper East Region, expressed grave concern during an interview with the in . Notably, 88% of the total deaths recorded in 2023 involved individuals aged 18 and above. Mr. Quarshie emphasized the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address the persisting challenge, particularly given the demographic affected.

The gender-specific trend in road crash fatalities has wider implications, as the deaths of young men contribute to an increase in young widows, deepening the poverty cycle and resulting in the loss of energetic human resources crucial for development.

While factors such as indiscipline, overspeeding, and disregard for road safety regulations have historically been identified as contributors to road crashes, drunken driving has emerged as a major concern in the region. The majority of crashes occur at night, with drunk driving being a significant contributory factor. The prevalence of beer bars along Upper East roads, some as close as five meters to the road, exacerbates the issue, as individuals often jump onto the road immediately after consuming alcohol.

To tackle this challenge, Mr. Quarshie stressed the importance of stronger collaboration between various stakeholders, including Municipal and District Assemblies and NRSA. He particularly highlighted the need to regulate the operations of drinking spots in the region.

As part of broader measures to address the issue, NRSA is decentralizing its operations to the community and District Assembly levels. This involves establishing district-level road safety committees aimed at educating the citizenry and enforcing bylaws to ensure safety on the roads.

Additionally, Mr. Quarshie acknowledged the tendency for road crashes to increase during election years. Plans are underway to engage members of various political parties, especially the youth, to educate them on road safety ahead of the December 2024 general elections. Mr. Quarshie advised political party leaders, religious bodies, and business owners to refrain from placing advertisements on roads and traffic signs, emphasizing that it is an offense punishable by law.

In urging responsible use of road signs, he stated, “We are pleading; the road signs are not places for advertisement, please leave them for the road users so that the signs can communicate to them at any particular point in time.”

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