Road Safety Commission calls on stakeholders to intensify education

Accra, The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has urged transport unions to intensify the education of their drivers to sustain the gains made in reducing road traffic crushes.

Mr David Osafo Adonteng, the Director of Planning at the National Road Safety Commission, at a meeting with Transport Operators in Accra on Thursday, commended the efforts of stakeholders which had resulted in significant reduction of accidents from 6,205 between January and June 2016, to 6,056, (2.4 per cent), around the same period in 2017.

He said although the number of persons killed went up by 3.02 per cent from 1,034 to 1,059 in the first half of 2016, while that of those injured also increased by 13.11 per cent from 5,302 to 5,997 in the same period of 2017, they represented an impressive performance over past years, when the population of both vehicles and people were lower.

Mr Adonteng said the road safety index, a key source of information to investors and tourists, gave an indication of the security of the country and that Ghana could boast of being one of the countries, globally, with a high record of improvement, which had attracted other nationals to understudy her system.

He said the Commission, in partnership with stakeholders, would not relent on its efforts to educate, supervise and enforce the various legislations as there were still huge obstacles to overcome including poor road networks and human errors.

He mentioned over-speeding, drunk driving, fatigue, mechanical faults; inexperienced driving, disabled vehicles, poor visibility at night, tyre bursts, wrongful overtaking and overloading of vehicles as some of the contributory factors to road accidents.

Mr Adonteng encouraged all transport operators to do background checks on the drivers before recruiting them and conduct periodic training and screening for fitness to maintain a high standards of professionalism in the industry.

He presented additional statistics which showed Ghana was doing well in reducing road accidents and these include reduction from 11,505 in 2010 to 9,79 in 2015, with the number of deaths also reducing from 1,986 to 1,080 over the same period.

Fatalities per 100 casualties stood at 14.6 per cent in 2015 from 10.5 per cent in 2000, while the fatality rate per 10,000 vehicles of 20.12 per cent in 2000 dropped to 8.74 per cent by 2015.

Population risk fatalities per 100,000 people, over the same period, dropped from 7.63 to 6.69.

Mr Adonteng commended the Bus and Mini Bus as well as Heavy Goods and Long Vehicles for the significant reduction in casualties from 5,200 in 2000 to 3,342 by 2015; and 1,121 to 752 respectively.

He, however, called for much attention to be paid to reducing pedestrian and motorcyclists’ fatalities which had risen from 662 to 831, and 42 to 323 respectively between 2000 and 2015.

Mr Edward Kwakye, the Director of Transport and Administration of the Global Haulage Company, said the NRSC had initiated steps for effective stakeholder engagements and drafted a Road Safety Education Guide for transport operators which would be discussed during the meeting to solicit inputs.

He said if approved by stakeholders, the document would serve as a training manual for all transport operators to enhance road safety.

Source: Ghana News Agency