The Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) has been commended for its road safety campaign initiative as a positive step towards developing journalists’ interest in fighting against the road crash menace.
Mr Gayheart Mensah, a Presidential aspirant of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), commending the GNA-Tema said the campaign platform was a good opportunity to engage people who have voices to put in a word to stop or reduce the carnage on the roads.
Mr Mensah was speaking at the GNA Tema Regional Office and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) Road Safety Campaign platform, which seeks to use prominent persons to provide continuous education on the need to be safe on the roads and reduce road carnage.
The Tema GNA and MTTD Road Safety Project seeks to create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need to be cautious on the road as a user, educate all road users of their respective responsibilities, and sensitize drivers especially of the tenets of road safety regulations, rules and laws.
Mr Mensah who is a media practitioner with over three decades of exceptional experience in the field said, “I applaud the Tema-GNA for giving people with voice the opportunity to speak to people on road safety issues”.
He called for the building of alliance between journalists and stakeholders on road safety in Ghana saying, journalists must specialize in reporting on road crash just as they do for other sectors.
“There is the need to have a group of journalists who will have interest in road safety just like the other sector, if we think road safety can have an impact on the economy, then we need to create a top of the mind awareness on road safety,” Mr Mensah who started his career as a journalist with the Ghanaian Times and worked variously as a Presidential Correspondent, Parliamentary Correspondent and Court Correspondent stated.
He said alliance must be built with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), and the MTTD among others to understand what role the media could play to enhance the various institutions’ mandates, which the GNA-Tema had already started.
Touching on the safety of journalists on the road in the discharge of their duties, Mr Mensah who was also a former Assistant Features Editor of the Daily Graphic said, there was the need to engage event organizers especially ministries, departments and agencies.
He said all stakeholders including the presidency must dialogue on the type of vehicles they provide journalists who were assigned to cover them especially during tours which involved driving in a convoy.
Mr Mensah also served as Deputy Editor of “The Evening News” of the Ghanaian Times and was later appointed Acting Editor said providing rickety vehicles or those below the standard of what the organizers use, put the lives of journalists in danger.
He added that media practitioners were one of the few professions that required a lot of movement therefore there was the need for event organizers to ensure the safety of reporters they invite to cover their programmes.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency on his part, said the need for the creation of the Tema-GNA-MTTD road safety campaign was born out of the ever-increasing figures of road crashes and its attendant consequences.
Mr Ameyibor added that it was also aimed at using prominent persons in society to speak to their constituents on the need to keep safe on the road as a driver, passenger, pedestrian among others.