NRSA launches Christmas road safety campaign - Calls for discipline among road users
The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has launched the 2023 road safety Christmas campaign, with a call on all road users, particularly drivers, to strictly observe the road traffic regulations to ensure an accident-free yuletide.
The Director-General of the NRSA, David Osafo Adonteng, who launched the campaign, on the theme: "Stop speeding - stay alive," called on drivers to prioritise the lives of passengers and pedestrians by being disciplined and avoiding the tendency to drive beyond accepted speed limits.
He stressed that while the festive season presented an opportunity for drivers to cash-in on the travelling public, it also heightened the risk of road crashes.
"Speeding excessively is by far the most prevalent contributory factor to road crashes, contributing to over 60 per cent of all fatal crashes in Ghana.
Ensuring reduction in travel speeds in compliance with maximum speed limit laws and regulations - 90 kilometres per hour (kph) on highways, 50kph in towns and settlements, 30kph in schools and crowded areas, and 100kph on the motorway, shall be strictly enforced in this year’s Christmas road safety campaign, and drivers must adhere to it," he stressed.
Figures from the NRSA show that during the 2022 Christmas (from December 24 to 26), 142 road crashes were recorded, leading to 215 injuries and 25 deaths.
Within the same period in 2021, the country recorded 133 crashes, 148 injuries and 28 deaths.
This year, provisional data from the police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) indicates that from January to October 2023, 11,694 cases of road crashes have been reported, resulting in 12,678 persons injured and 1,839 persons killed.
Against that backdrop, Mr Adonteng also called on all stakeholders in the road safety space, including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service, religious organisations to continue to play key roles in reducing accidents during the Christmas season.
The NRSA Director-General said as part of measures to reduce road crashes associated with the festive season, the authority had started engaging the clergy and their respective congregations in churches on the need to be extra cautious on the road.
He said that had become necessary because as churches prepared to travel to various parts of the country for the Christmas festivities, it was important for their leaders to preach road safety to their congregation.
“The church owes its congregation the duty to protect the lives of its members, so as we preach love and the birth of Christ to our congregation, there can never be any other occasion than now to stress on the need to advise them to stay alive.” he said.
Mr Adonteng also said the NRSA had intensified public education at lorry terminals and was seriously engaging the leadership of road transport operators and drivers on road safety issues.
He said the authority was also working with the police MTTD to strictly enforce road traffic regulations to ensure that drivers maintained discipline on the road.
“We are with targeted groups and preparing to set up teams with the Police to populate the road space with coordinated enforcement activities particularly in relation with our two drivers for long distance travel policy, removal of unprescribed lamps and use of log books shall be in force,” he said.
Mr Adonteng also said the police MTTD would put their automated enforcement operations known as Traffitech-GH (PIEAW) to test this Christmas season to electronically detect and apprehend those who would flout speed and red light regulations.
“We are also excited to learn from our road agencies, the Department of Urban Road in particular, that they have stepped up their efforts to fix traffic lights with an assurance that most of it will be functioning during and beyond the season,” he said.
He added that because road safety was a shared responsibility, it was important for the media and other stakeholders to join the authority to “proactively drum home the call for safety on our roads.”
“To the leadership of Ghana, our politicians, ministers, parliamentarians, heads of political parties, heads of institution, let us add road safety to all speeches and messages we deliver to our people, our staff and all gatherings wherever we find ourselves to engage the public,” he appealed.
Mr Adonteng also urged passengers of commercial buses to speak out when drivers acted in ways that could compromise their safety.