Transport operators should not compromise on the stipulated road safety protocols to avoid preventable crashes and related negative consequences, the National Road Safety Authority (NSRA) has advised.
Mr Kwame Koduah Atuahene, the Head of Regulations, Inspection, and Compliance, said discipline ought to be the hallmark of their operation as they represented a strategic component of the transportation industry.
“The lives of many innocent people are in your hands,” he observed, saying given that scenario the operators needed to ensure that their vehicles and drivers always remained in good condition before plying the road.
Mr. Kodua Atuahene, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the sidelines of a meeting with some transport operators in Kumasi, said issues related to road safety should be taken seriously by all stakeholders.
The programme, organized under the auspices of the NRSA, aimed to ascertain the level of compliance of the operators regarding road safety protocols.
It was also to sensitize them to appreciate their varied roles in the national road safety campaign, which is designed to reduce to the barest minimum acts of indiscipline responsible for avoidable accidents.
Under the protocols, the authorities have directed all intercity bus operators travelling more than 500 kilometers or more than eight hours to engage two drivers.
Mr Kodua Atuahene said other measures include the need for them to use reflective tapes on the vehicles to help improve visibility on the road and appointing road safety officers to conduct pre-departure checks.
The Authority, he noted, had since last year recruited over one hundred (100) road safety inspectors to augment the ongoing safety campaign.
Additionally, the Regional Road Safety Inspectorate Teams were also working with key players in the transportation industry to promote attitudinal change to curtail unhealthy practices that could result in accidents.
Road crashes, according to the NRSA Head of Regulations, Inspection, and Compliance, were a disincentive to increasing economic productivity in the country, citing the number of deaths and injuries associated with them.
According to the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD), a total of 517 deaths were recorded from road crashes in the country between January and February 2021, a significant increase in the 393 cases recorded in the same period last year.
It is estimated that Ghana spends more than 1.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product per annum channeling it into solving road-traffic injuries and related issues.
Mr. Kodua Atuahene observed that dealing with indiscipline on the road was a collective responsibility and as such the Authority would continue to engage stakeholders to enhance good practices.