THE Minister of Transport, Mr Mike Hamah, has met stakeholders in the transport industry in Kumasi at the Kejetia Terminal to discuss how road accidents can be prevented during the Christmas festivities.
Those who attended the meeting included drivers unions, station masters, transport owners, officials of the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) among others.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Hamah asked the police to be tough on drivers who refused to adhere to road safety regulations during the Yuletide.
He said some drivers would attempt to take advantage of the Christmas engage in negative acts such as speeding, using vehicles that are not roadworthy and overloading, but the police had a duty to stop such practices before they result in accidents.
Mr Hamah said apart from the loss of human lives, Ghana was losing an estimated $165 million annually through road accidents, and “we cannot allow this to continue”.
The minister noted that every single accident was preventable and, therefore, appealed to road users to be extra careful on the road.
He called for intensive education on road safety since that was one of the surest ways of avoiding accidents.
He stressed the need for vehicle owners to be wary of forcing their drivers to overwork without paying attention to the maintenance of the vehicles.
Mr Hamah stated that as the government worked hard to put more roads in the correct shape, it was the responsibility of road users, especially drivers, to be cautious when using the roads.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said the country needed its people to work to ensure development and as such everything must be done to avoid accidents.
The Executive Director of NRSC, Mr Noble Appiah, said everyone was at risk where the issue of road accidents was concerned.
He, therefore, urged the drivers to take road safety education very seriously.