A total of 357 lives were lost in the Ashanti Region through road crashes from January to July, this year, the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has disclosed.
Ms Simbiat Wiredu, the Regional Director, NRSA, said in all, 2,135 road crashes were recorded within the period under review.
19 per cent of these fatalities, according to her, were children below age 18, adding that reports from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) indicated that 60 per cent of patients at the Emergency Unit were victims of road crashes.
Ms Wiredu was speaking at the launch of a road safety campaign for students in the Region, at a ceremony at Atonsu in the Asokwa Municipality.
The campaign is a collaborative work between the NRSA and the Department of Urban Roads, with support from the French Agency for Development (AFD).
The initiative formed part of efforts by the Authority and allied stakeholders to effectively reduce road fatalities among children in the Region.
Ms. Wiredu said road accidents were becoming a major global health threat and required a multi-sectoral approach to address it.
The road safety sensitization campaign being implemented under the Kumasi Road and Drainage Extension Project aims to reach out to about 7,000 students along with the Coca Cola to Dompoase stretch of road.
The campaign is to improve the safety behaviour of both direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project and to arouse their interest and sustain their level of awareness on road safety issues.
Ms Wiredu appealed to teachers to continue educating their pupils and students on road safety issues, to enable them to adhere strictly to motor traffic rules and regulations.
Madam Fatima Yusif Abdallah, a Civil Engineer at the Department of Urban Roads, said the maiden campaign aimed at enhancing public awareness on road safety.
She charged the students to put into practice the road safety lessons they had been taught over the months for their safety.
Mr. Richard Kyere, School Improvement Support Officer (SISO), Ghana Education Service, said the education authorities would collaborate effectively with the campaigners to ensure the safety of the children in their usage of the road.
Superintendent George Amponsah Anim, the Asokwa Divisional Commander of the Police Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD), cautioned drivers and all road users to adhere to road safety regulations to save children.
Nana Obiri Yeboah II, the Gyaasehene of Atonsu, called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to inculcate road safety education into the academic curriculum of basic schools.