Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has launched the Regional Road Safety Campaign with a call on the general public to avoid jaywalking to prevent pedestrians knockdowns in the yuletide.
Jaywalking is a violation of traffic regulations, particularly, when pedestrians cross the street or road without using designated crosswalks or accurately following traffic signals.
Madam Owusu-Bahanene emphasized jaywalking was not only a traffic offence, but remained dangerous, contributing to uncontrolled pedestrian knockdowns in the region.
The Bono Regional Office of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) designed the campaign to outline its Christmas activities and programmes aimed at reducing road crashes before, during, and after the Christmas festivities.
On the theme, “Stay Alive”, the launch, held in Berekum was attended by transport unions, commercial drivers, passengers and road sector agencies, and other road users.
Mad Owusu-Bahanene expressed concern about the general disregard for road safety regulations and signs, and called on the police to intensify patrols on the highways, arrest and prosecute offending drivers to deter others.
“If you have nothing to do on the road, don’t use the street”, the Regional Minister advised pedestrians, saying with the onset of the season, the street would be busier.
Mad Owusu-Banahene cautioned drivers to desist from excessive speeding, drunk and fatigue driven, insecure loading and urged them to endeavor to observe road signs and obey traffic regulations to prevent avoidable accidents and needless fatalities.
She dispelled the wrong perception about road accidents emphasizing it was untrue crashes were linked to witchcraft or wizardry, but rather reckless driving.
Police Superintendent Stephen Tenkorang, the Bono Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) said road accidents and fatalities in the region saw a slight decline this year, as compared to 2020.
However, added motorbike crashes and deaths are increasing, saying 42 people died in 2020 and 43 in 2021 from January to September in the region.
Police Supt. Tenkorang expressed discomfort that many motor riders in the region did not wear crash helmets, warning that the Department had intensified special operations to arrest riders without helmets and license as well as unregistered motorbikes.
He indicated the majority of recorded road accidents happened as a result of driver error and negligence, and advised drivers to examine their vehicles before journeying.
Mr Kwasi Agyenim Boateng, the Bono Regional Director of the NRSA, said the campaign would further intensify enforcement on accident prone areas in the region, and advise drivers to check their tyres, lighting systems and renew their road worthy and insurance certificates as well.
He said ensuring safety on the road required collective and shared responsibility, and advised passengers to also check drivers against over-speeding and endeavour to wear their seat belts whenever they boarded vehicles.
Mr Boateng expressed appreciation to the Regional Coordinating Council, the police, and road sector agencies for their contribution towards ensuring sanity on the road, and expressed the optimism that with deepened collaboration, road crashes would be brought under the barest minimum in the region during the yuletide.