Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) has begun a road safety campaign aimed at reducing drink driving in the country.
The campaign dubbed: “Smart drinking and C.A.R.E. campaign”, was inspired by a Global Smart Drinking Campaign started in 2015, by ABL’s parent company, ABInBev.
The global campaign seeks to ensure that drivers, pedestrians and other road users were safe on the road.
CARE stands for Courteousness; being considerate on the road at all times, Alertness; being vigilant and aware at all times, Responsible; staying awake at all times, and Ensure; doing everything possible to safeguard one's life.
ABL also aims at placing a Guidance Label on all ABL beer products on the market by the end of 2020 and increasing alcohol literacy by the end of 2025.
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Although the company already undertakes drink-driving campaigns, the Global Smart Drinking Campaign strategy was adopted to increase education on drink driving and would be rolled up during Easter and subsequently Christmas with a focus on improving road signs and markings.
As part of the campaign, ABL on Wednesday, April 10, organised a workshop aimed at bringing together stakeholders to find the best ways to protect lives on the road.
The workshop was on the theme “Drinking Responsibly Today to Safeguard Tomorrow.”
Stakeholders at the workshop included the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), and some selected driver unions such as the Odawna Drivers Welfare, Obra Spot Drivers Welfare, Tema Station Drivers Welfare and Circle UTC Taxi Branch.
Smart drinking campaign
The Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of ABL, Ms Adwoa Aaba Arthur, in an interview said the workshop was aimed at informing stakeholders about the campaign and to demonstrate their commitment to support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) target of reducing the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10 per cent by the end of 2025.
“With this workshop, we are also declaring our support for the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal three (SDG 3) which touches on the health and wellbeing of people, and enforcing them to take good care of their health, which we believe ties into drinking as well,” she said.
Corporate Social Responsibility
She noted that the campaign formed part of its corporate social responsibility to educate people on the harmful use of excessive alcohol.
“As a beverage company we have a social responsibility to inform people over the age of 18 who drink our beer to be cautious of the harmful effect it can have on a consumer.
“Drink campaign is something that the business has twice a year.
However, it is interesting that coincidentally it’s going to buttress the awareness ongoing as a result of the accident that happened in March in Kintampo and Mankessim.
“We do realise that some markings on the roads have faded off and road signs have been knocked over by previous accidents.
So we are partnering with the government to see how best we can improve safety on the roads,” She said.
Ms Arthur added that the company was internally organising a campaign for their drivers and had placed a cautionary statement and information on the company’s site to educate their employees on drink driving.
She said ABL would from next month distribute flyers containing road safety messages to its retailers as part of the advocacy, adding that they would inculcate such information into their Retailer Development Programme.
“In May we will have our Retailer Development Programme in the Eastern and Central region, and inform retailers about the campaign for them to pass it on to consumers,” she said.
Ms Arthur urged the public to keep in mind the C.A.R.E. message and pledge to save lives on the roads every day.
She also urged the public to be concerned citizens and endeavour to draw the attention of authorities to bad situations in the communities.
During the workshop, a Staff Officer of the MTTD, Superintendent Dr Samuel Sasu Mensah, took the participants through the laws on drink driving as well as some police standard operating procedures.
He said the MTTD had received traffic law enforcement equipment such as speed guns, breathalysers and its accessories to check drink driving on the road.
“We will massively deploy personnel to drinking bars, particularly along the Accra to Nkawkaw road, during this Easter season,” he said.
The Manager of the Training School, DVLA, Mr Thomas Nintori, in a brief remark, advised drivers to always check the conditions of their cars before setting off.
According to him, the regular inspection of vehicles reduced road crashes.
Touching on fake licences and road worthy certificates, Mr Nintori urged motorists to avoid patronising the services of “goro boys” saying there were certified Private Vehicle Test Centres, across the country that offered such services.
He also urged individuals and corporate institutions to choose the DVLA’s training school to improve the drivers’ skills.
The Greater Accra Regional Manager of the NRSC, Ms Catherine Hamilton, in her submission, said 90 per cent of all collisions recorded in the country were as a result of a driver’s error.
She said the NRSC would collaborate with the police, MMDAs and other relevant authorities to enforce speed regulations.
Some members of the drivers unions present, appealed to authorities to check drivers who had turned bus stops into lorry stations as well as faded road markings, saying they contributed to road accidents.