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6,152 children killed in road traffic crashes in Ghana

The number of children killed in road traffic crashes in 20 years amounted to 6,152.

This represents 15% of all deaths recorded on the roads during the 20 years.

The period spanned January 2001 to December 2021.

The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) disclosed that the highest number of childhood road fatalities is between the age bracket of zero and three years.

In 2001, about 259 children between the ages of Zero and 15 died in road traffic crashes,

The numbers increased to 285 in the year 2002.

The fatalities fortunately declined to 216 children in 2003.

The deaths increased to 388 in 2004.

Again, the figures reduced to 304 in 2005, but unfortunately increased to 325 child fatalities in 2006.

In 2007, some 323 children also died with 354 children dying in the year 2008.

Some 380 deaths occurred in 2009, with 353 fatalities in 2010, and 338 occurred in 2011.

In 212, some 283 children died in road traffic crashes and some 245 children died in 2013.

For 2014, some 240 child fatalities were recorded while 250 child fatalities were registered in 2015.

In respect of 2016 road traffic crashes claimed the lives of 282 children.

In the year 2017, about 198 child fatalities were recorded while 2018 registered 722 child fatalities.

Road traffic crashes killed 244 children in 2019 while about 244 child fatalities were recorded in 2020.

For 2021, child fatalities were 320.

Principal Manager at NRSA, Dennis Yeribu, stated that if the mandatory use of child restraints and seat belts are not implemented, children in the country will continue to be at risk always.

He indicated that road traffic injuries are the fourth leading causes of death for children aged five to nine globally.

According to him, it is also the third leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14 years and the first cause of death for children aged 15 to 17 years.

Director of LADA Institute, Mark Ofori Amanfo said that his outfit is interested in ensuring that all issues of vehicular child safety are considered in the legislative amendment process.

He stated that road safety in itself is a complex and multi-dimensional development issue and has implications for different facets of the country’s development.

He noted that road safety is a human rights question and the safety of children on roads is in itself a child’s rights issue linked to health and survival, education, protection and participation.

Mr Amanfo added that the importance of addressing child road safety is borne out of the worrying statistics across the globe.

He indicated that there’s the need for a legislative revision to provide a penalty for the Criminal infringement of the Road traffic Act.

“This will entail an amendment of section 14 of the Road Traffic Act,” he said.

The figures were made public at a workshop organized by LADA Institute, a Non-Governmental Organisation which deals with policy and legislative development in collaboration with NRSA.

It was to discuss proposed amendments needed to strengthen the legislative framework for mandatory child restraint and child seat belt usage, as a way of contributing to an improved road safety legal and policy environment in Ghana.

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