A new Information Service Centre was on Tuesday inaugurated at Neoplan Station, Kwame Nkrumah Circle to enhance road safety issues before, during and after the Christmas festivities.
The setting-up of the centre has become necessary following drivers’ calls for an effective coordination between the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and stakeholders in motoring sector.
The Information Centre among other things would serve as a complaints Centre and also afford drivers the opportunity to liaise effectively with stakeholders on driving issues.
At a NRSC ceremony to inaugurate the Centre and launch the 2017 Christmas road safety campaign, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, stressed the need for road safety to be considered as a public health issue and given all the needed attention it deserved.
He said, if road safety is seen and treated as a public health issue and catered for; all other road users would understand that their negative actions hinder road safety and this would help reduce accidents on the roads in the country.
To this end, Mr Asiamah therefore implored drivers and all other road users to be responsible on the roads, change their behaviours, think road safety at all times, resolve to put safer vehicles on roads and put passengers and pedestrians’ life first.
He has also charged the NRSC to intensify their efforts at ensuring safety on the roads and urged road users to behave responsibly before, during and after the festive season in order not to fall victim of road calamities.
Speaking on the theme: “Even One Death is Too Many to Bear, Let’s Change Our Behaviours On The Roads For An Accident Free Christmas and New Year,” Mrs May Obiri Yeboah, the Executive Director of NRSC, said the Commission would intensify education and sensitisation of road users on good road safety practices.
She said: “There will be rigid enforcement of road traffic laws and quick response to crash victims, should there be a crash on the road”.
Mrs Obiri Yeboah advised drivers not to drink when driving and to wear their seat belts when driving and conduct regular maintenance on their vehicles.
She urgedthe drivers to always look out for children loitering on roads and urged passengers to be patient with their drivers and also speak up when drivers were being reckless on the road.
“I am sure by the end of this launch, you would have resolved to support us help stop this carnage on our roads,” she said.
Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, said road transport in Ghana and elsewhere was challenged by an unacceptable level of road traffic crashes and its resultant fatalities and injuries.
He said from December 24 to 26 last year, 230 vehicles were involved in accident, where 20 persons were killed with another 20 being injured and called on the public to collectively work to reverse the negative trend this year.
He mentioned that before, during and after the festivities, traffic enforcers would be deployed on accident prone roads and highways to enforce road traffic Acts and Regulations, and arrest and prosecute persons who would take advantage of the occasion to flout traffic rules and regulations with impunity.
“We would continue to engage the public in a friendly and democratic manner to ensure that our roads are safe,” he said.
Mr Paul Kwabena Badu Aidoo, the Welfare Chairman of the Circle Branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, urged NRSC to engage drivers at all times as doing so would help drivers to be conscious of their actions on the roads.