The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has intensified its public education programme in the Greater Accra Region ahead of the Easter festivities to ensure that proper safety regulations are adhered to before and during the Easter period.
Being the lead agency mandated to spearhead and coordinate road safety in the country, the commission has remained committed to this course.
The Commission said it has had to step up its education as travelers would be moving to other parts of the country by road during the Easter holiday.
This year’s National Easter Road Safety Campaign Program and activities being driven on the theme: “Safety First, Think Safety and Drive Safety, in a collaborated effort, afforded officials of NRSC and other officials of the Motor, Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service and Drivers, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) to visit transport terminals to interact with the leadership of transport operators as part of the Commission’s program to ensure that passengers are safely transported by road to their various destinations during this Easter.
The terminals visited included the VIP terminal, Neoplan Station, VVIP terminal (all at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle), Intercity STC, Metro Mass Transit Limited and the Takoradi Ford Station in Kaneshie.
At all the Car terminals visited, officials of the three Institutions took turns to address the Union leaders.
Ing. David Osafo Adonteng, Director, Planning and Programmes (NRSC), said the visit was basically to encourage the operators on their efforts to observe high safety standards, but there was still the need to remind them of the rising spate of accidents which was quite alarming, and had become a nationwide concern.
He added that, with the accidents that have occurred recently, majority were as a result of bad driving practices such as over speeding, uncalculated overtaking and fatigue.
He mentioned that, for instance the accident that happened on the Apam-Winneba road some weeks back, investigations available to the Commission revealed that, it was as a result of over speeding.
According to him, stakeholders are doing a lot in educating and sensitizing the public, however, if this would be materialized, then much depends on the shoulders of drivers.
He pleaded with the leaders that, the passengers who patronize their services want to reach their destinations safely so they should make sure they make that happens.
He advised that, in order to ensure sanity among the attitudes of the drivers, the Union leaders can introduce sanctions to be meted out to drivers who flout the orders, so as to have high ethical standards.
Mr. Alexander Kweku Obeng, the Greater Regional Commander of the MTTD on his part said, the nation’s work force are being driven by drivers.
He added that with such a role, a little mistake on the part of drivers could cause a lot of havoc for the country.
He noted that just in a week, surveillance record revealed that, cars involved in accidents were 150 a week, out of which 53 death cases were recorded.
Also, 72 pedestrian car knockdown cases were recorded within that same spate of time. He bemoaned this situation saying it is disturbing and alarming. He also advised that advanced warning devices such reflectors on cars and triangles are to be maintained in cases where faulty cars are packed on the road.
Mr. Thomas Ntori, a DVLA official with the team, was concerned about things a driver needs to do or consider before moving a car. According to him, a driver must check the car thoroughly in the morning making sure that everything is alright before moving it.
He also allayed the fears of drivers who as a result of time and the busy nature of their work cannot afford to waste time going to the DVLA office to renew their licenses, saying that DVLA now has a Mobile Service currently in operation that has brought the service right to their doorsteps. He therefore advised that drivers must not wait for their license to completely expire before renewal.
Leaders of driver and transport unions were also given the platform to make their concerns known to the stakeholders.
Primarily, one concern that came through at all the terminals visited was the challenges involved in the acquisition and renewal of drivers’ licenses.
The concern was that, with the current computerization system, it goes against many of these divers who are either illiterate or semi-illiterate, and therefore cannot read or write.
According to the leaders, the systems now require that one goes to a driving school before a driver’s license is issued to the person.
The team after every talk gave out a booklet which is a Road Safety Communication Guide for Transport Operators containing all the safety practices that were shared with them on the outreach programme to be a guide while they also impact the knowledge to their members (Drivers).
Also stickers with road safety messages were handed over to them to use on their cars to further propagate the message while on wheels.
The two-day outreach programme in the Accra from the 23rd to the 24th March 2017 ended the first phase of planned programmmes and activities aimed at preventing accidents on the country’s roads prior to the Easter festivities.
The second phase commences from the 4th to 5th April and would have the team visit the Tudu Station, Tema Station, Ho Station, Tema Main Station and Ashiaman Station all in Accra Central.
There would also be the official launch of the Easter Safety Campaign at Kpong Main station in the Eastern Region on a proposed date of 11th April 2017.