The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has started vehicle pre-departure checks at lorry terminals in the Ashanti region as part of efforts to control road accidents in the Ashanti Region.
The exercise which is being done in collaboration with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ghana Fire Service (GFS) and the Ghana Police Service (GPS) is to help ensure that commercial vehicles are road worthy and safe for passengers to use.
Madam Simbiat Wiredu, Ashanti Regional Director of the NRSA, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during one of the exercises at the Asafo Station in Kumasi, said, the exercise forms part of the road safety campaign to reduce the increasing number of road crashes in the region.
She said the checks were to ensure that commercial vehicles were road-worthy and the drivers met all the road safety requirements before embarking on a journey.
It also seeks to sensitise road users and the general public on the need to prioritise road safety ahead of Christmas to reduce road fatalities.
The Regional Director said among other things, the Authority was checking the driver’s license, seatbelts, and traffic indicators, windscreen of the vehicles, tyres, first aids, and reflectors.
“We also seize the opportunity to empower passengers to speak up and keep drivers in check in the instances of over-speeding, sleep-driving or reckless driving, because we believe that road safety is a collective responsibility,” she said.
Madam Wiredu cautioned drivers who drive more than 500 kilometres to adopt the two driver initiative to help reduce road crashes ahead of the Christmas festivities.
She stressed the need for effective collaboration with drivers and transport owners to help reduce accidents.
“Until drivers and transport operators begin to understand that what we are doing is targeted at saving lives and team up with us, we would not stop the checks”, she emphasized.
The Regional Director said the exercise would be conducted in all major bus terminals and lorry stations in the region, adding that the Authority would not hesitate to crack the whip on vehicles that were not road-worthy.
Mr. Amos Abaka, the Ashanti Regional Manager of DVLA, said the inspection was to ensure that any equipment fittings and fixtures required on the vehicle were present and serviceable in order to avoid road accidents.
He expressed worry about the poor condition of some vehicles which did not meet the road safety requirements, and called on transport operators to put their vehicles in good shape to help reduce crashes.
“Some of the cars are not fit for the road, some of the reflectors are also fake, and some do not have it at all.
I’m telling the transport operators to take those unfit cars off the road,” he said.
He said DVLA would enforce the laws which required motorists to submit their vehicle for checks before receiving road worthy certificates and advised the transport operators to comply.
Ahead of the yuletide, the Regional Manager advised drivers to be patient and comply with the road safety measures to help save lives and also reduce road crashes in the region.