TWO hundred and sixty-three people were killed in road accidents in the Ashanti Region last year.
The number is a major increase over the previous year's figure of 198.
Disclosing this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mr Kwaku Oware-Boateng, said the situation was "terribly bad".
He stated that 1,480 others were injured in other accidents across the region last year as against 1,190 in 2007.
In all, 1,762 accidents involving 2,427 vehicles were recorded by the NRSC.
Mr Oware-Boateng expressed concern about the increasing indiscipline on the roads and said unless the problem was tackled head on, the future would be gloomier.
"A number of our drivers are doing whatever they want on the roads, yet passengers fail to report their conduct to the police. I think that we have to be bold and do our part as passengers to bring erring drivers to book", the regional manager said.
He, therefore, called on all road users to be alive to their responsibilities so that the situation could be minimised this year.
Mr Oware-Boateng stressed the need for the district assemblies to take road safety activities seriously.
He noted that the decentralisation of road safety activities were crucial to minimising road accidents.
Mr Oware-Boateng was also unhappy about the way hawkers and pedestrians had taken over the streets in Kumasi and said it was a recipe for accidents.
"While it is our duty to prevent accidents, we are rather promoting them", he said