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Monday, June 17, 2024

New Road Safety Law in the Offing

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Report by Nana POKU


There has been a day’s consultative forum in Accra to fashion out a new law to regulate and improve road safety in the country.

The Ministry of Transport supported by its agencies, the National Road Safety Authority and Drivers Vehicles and Licensing Authority called all stakeholders to deliberate to come out with acceptable, consensual and holistic law that will help drastically reduce carnage on our roads.

Speaking to the participants, the sector minister indicated that, this has become necessary as a result of the increasing crashes on our roads resulting in fatalities as in deaths and injuries. He bemoaned the situation of increasing death tolls over the years as a result of some avoidable accidents. The minister intimated that the president is really upset about the rate of indiscipline and accidents resulting in deaths, injuries and destruction of properties.

It was revealed that the category of people who suffer roads crashes and pass on are those in the age range of 20-60 years who constitute the able-bodied workforce. This is depriving the nation of agile working people and this has economic consequence.

According to the minister statistics from the Police indicate that, road crashes kill Ghanaians more than AIDS, Covid 19, and Malaria and it’s very worrying. He told the gathering that cabinet is anxiously waiting to discuss and send it to parliament for approval as a result of its exigency. All the participants were asked to feel free to come out with their inputs to enrich the final document to help tackle this debacle.

Some of the provisions in the old law according to the minister are either unimplementable or outmoded and need to be changed to reflect current situations. For instance some old gadgets in use by the Police to check license and alcohol will be digitised to expedite actions.

New penalties and custodian sentencing regimes are being reviewed to reflect emerging developments. The old law which was passed in 2004 and reviewed in 2008 needs to be reviewed again after 14 years. At the forum it came to light that 11 % of road accidents occur through wrongly parked vehicles and the rest are human and mechanical errors.

As a result, the forum revisited the issue of the towing regime. It popped up for lengthy deliberation and all opinions came up for its reintroduction. The minister assured the participants that at the end of the day, his Ministry would come out with the best of legal framework that will ensure safety and comfort on our roads.

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