NRSA asks basic schools to use fit-for-purpose vehicles to transport pupils

Accra, – The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has urged authorities of basic schools that offer transport services for pupils to use fit-for-purpose buses.

The Authority also asked them to engage qualified drivers to transport school children under the supervision of adult bus conductors.

It said that had become necessary because it observed that some buses providing transport services for pupils across the country were not road worthy and drivers, defiant to road safety regulations.

“Generally, the buses appear rickety, with sub-standard tires and seats, without seatbelts and retro-reflective tapes contrary to Regulations 5, 62 and 80, 119 Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (L.I. 2180), respectively,” a statement, jointly issued by Mr Kwame Koduah Atuahene, Acting Director, Regulations and Compliance of the NRSA and Madam Pearl Adesu Gyasi, Head, Corporate Affairs, NRSA, said.

Contrary to Regulation 156 of L.I, 2180, the NRSA said it had observed that some school buses were often overloaded with drivers stopping at unsafe areas to pick up the children, stating that many of those buses also had no adult supervisors aboard.

The statement said the Authority also observed that some schoolchildren attending schools sited along roads in high traffic environments, struggled to cross the road to and from school without any assistance.

It said those conditions increased the risks of children to road traffic Crashes, Injuries and Deaths (CIDs) as bus occupants and children pedestrians.

The Authority, therefore asked that, “schools located by major roads (in urban environments and on highways) collaborate with their Assemblies, Parent-Teacher Association (PTAs) and School Management Committers (SMCs) to designate traffic wardens who shall assist the school children to cross the road during the peak hours.”

In compliance with those directives, therefore, the Authority said it expected all schools affected by those road safety measures to submit to the Authority on or before February 28, 2022, the relevant information on the details of their drivers and vehicles assigned for the transport service and traffic warden nominated.

It warned that the Authority would not hesitate to impose the necessary Administrative Penalties and other sanctions provided by the National Road Safety Authority Act, 2019 (Act 993) to enforce the directives to improve road safety in the country.

A report by the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, said a total of 831 pedestrians were killed in road crashes in 2021 – a 7.40 per cent increase over the 2020 figure of 720.

Out of the number, 2,930 pedestrian knockdowns recorded in 2021, including school children, 2099 of them were injured – a plummet of the 2020 figure of 2728 injuries.

The report said a total 2,924 lives were lost nationwide through road crashes in 2021.

Out of the number of persons killed, 262 were males below 18, 2119 males above 18, while 137 of the number were females below 18 and 406 females above 18 years.

Basic schools will reopen across the country on January 18, 2022, according to reports from the Ghana Education Service.

Source: Ghana News Agency