Mr Denis Yeribu, Upper East Regional Planning Officer of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Tuesday said there were more youth involved in recorded road accidents in the region annually.
“Last year, the Commission recorded 250 road crashes, of which 260 people were injured and 90 persons died. The Commission again recorded 389 vehicles involved in road crashes last year and motorbikes alone formed 55 percent of the total number.” He said.
According to him, motorbikes were most convenient means of transport among the youth in the Upper East Region and said most of the vehicles involved in the accidents were motorbikes.
Mr Yeribu indicated that the youth involvement in accidents followed a national trend, and said about 70 percent of accidents recorded in the country annually had the youth from the ages of 18 and 35 years involved.
He lamented that most of the deaths recorded in the region were men and said if the trend continued, the region could lose its human resource base and the poverty situation among the people could be worsened as most men were bread winners of their respective families.
He explained that due to urbanisation and economic activities, Bolgatanga and Navrongo Municipalities recorded the highest fatalities in the region last year, with 44 and 21 per cent of deaths respectively.
"Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Bawku Municipalities are major points of economic activities in the Upper East Region. Due to this, most of the deaths we record every year come from Bolgatanga and Navrongo with the two Municipalities recording about 60 percent of the fatalities last year." He said.
He added that even though Bawku is an urbanised town, the curfew placed on men not to ride motorbikes in the town in the past significantly reduced the fatalities recorded in that Municipality.
He said in spite of the fact that road accidents in the region had declined with 153 cases recorded for the third quarter of 2017, over speeding and alcoholism were major causes of road crashes in the region.
The Planning Officer said "the most single cause of accidents in the region was excessive speeding. Over speeding causes more than 60 percent of road crashes recorded annually. Another major cause of road crashes which is not easily measured is alcoholism."
Mr Yeribu indicated that the Commission collaborated effectively with the Ghana Police Service, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to reduce road incidents in the region and said the Commission undertook a number of programmes to sensitise road users and admonished members of the public on the need to be road safety conscious.
He said, "the Commission’s work involves multifaceted approach in ensuring safety on our roads, Education, enforcement, engineering, emergency post-crash service, and engagements are the approaches employed by the Commission to ensure safety on our roads. The Commission always carries out a number of outreach programmes to schools, communities, churches and mosques, and most importantly to crash prone areas."
The Planning Officer however stressed that staff and funds to carry out their activities were some of the challenges the Commission was confronted with and appealed to organisations and individuals to support the Commission. He urged the media to assist the Commission to reach out to the public to educate them.