The Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission, Mrs. May Obiri-Yeboah has said, road traffic crashes were responsible for an average of 2,000 deaths each year, a situation which was far more than the annual deaths recorded through crimes, with nearly 33% of them being passenger and cargo vehicle related, and almost 60% of the victims being in the productive bracket of 18 to 55 years.
According to her, the situation impacted very negatively on the national economy, affecting tourism, national image, health infrastructure, etc. It affected Ghana’s annual GDP at an estimated cost of about 1.6%.
Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah said, the NRSC was passionate about the attainment of the national target of reducing casualty levels by 50% by 2020. Adding, the risk to deaths and injuries in the road traffic environment was real, and required the collective concerted efforts of all stakeholders to minimise the unsafe factors.
Hence, the NRSC on 15th August, 2017, launched the sixth edition of its National Road Safety Awards (NRSA), which happens to take place in November 2017.
According to her, the Commission called for nominations and entries for prospective awardees from Transport Operators, Driver Unions, and the media, which were expected to be submitted between today August 15, 2017 to September 30, 2017. And also appealed to the people of Ghana to support the NRSC in cash and in kind to make this year’s event a successful one.
Speaking to the media, Mrs. Obiri-Yeboah, said the event which was instituted in 2010, under the Ministry of Transport, was to promote better road safety practices among Commercial Transport Operator Unions in both passenger and haulage services, and subsequently in 2011, acknowledged the media for its contribution.
“compliance with safety standards has been observed as low, particularly with passenger and freight operators and with the award, we expect to develop a new sub-culture that prioritises the safety of the road user,” the Executive Director said.
She outlined four categories for the event as; Best Road Safety-Oriented Commercial Road Transport Operator of the Year; Best Road Safety-Oriented Commercial Road Transport Driver of the Year; Best Road Safety-Oriented Solid Haulage Transport Operator of the Year and Best Road Safety-Oriented Liquid Haulage Transport Operator of the Year.
And elaborated clearly that, the selection for these four categories, would be based on the operational, driver and vehicle standards of each of the nominees.
The event would also acknowledge the contribution of journalists whose publications and works has been impacting positively on road safety in Ghana in the year under review, with the award categories being for the Best Road Safety Media Reporters of the Year respectively for the Print, Radio, Television, and in Photography.
“We wish to invite journalists to compete for the Print, Radio, Television and Photography categories with road safety stories published in local or international media between August 15th, 2016 and August 30th,2017”, she noted.
The search Committee of the Commission, she said, would also identify a Goodwill Road Safety Ambassador from among Showbiz, Sports and Political personalities, who would help support the course through advocacy, and would be outdoored during the Awards event.