The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has advised transport service providers to constantly train and educate their drivers to help curb the flouting of road safety regulations and minimise road accidents.
If that is not done, the operators risk being held culpable just as their drivers and would be made to also face the law as stipulated by the National Road Safety Authority Act, 2019 (Act 993).
The acting Director-General, National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), David Osafo Adonteng, said the gross disregard for road safety regulations coupled with excessive speeding had become a national security threat which must be dealt with to avoid many more casualties on the country’s roads.
He has, therefore, urged transport service operators to sensitise their drivers to road safety regulations. “When we conduct our monitoring on the roads and your driver is engaged in any act of indiscipline we wouldn’t mind suspending your operations,” he added.
The acting Director-General, who made the call at a stakeholder engagement to share observations made by the authority on the roads with operators of Toyota Hiace minibuses in Accra last Friday, explained that the authority would step up efforts to help reduce road casualties.
“After years and unrelenting efforts of advocacy and education, the whip has to be cracked stiffer to serve as a deterrent and reduce the carnage on the roads,” he said.
The stakeholder engagement brought together various transport operators to discuss the authority’s observations and frustrations and mobilise drivers to help ensure safety road use.
He said road casualties had decreased from 4,009 in 2021 to 3,932 representing a 1.9 per cent decline.
The situation, he said, could be further improved through education and enforcement from the police.
Mr Adonteng further noted that the authority had in recent times observed pockets of highway crashes involving drivers of Toyota Hiace minibuses.
He, therefore, urged the operators to ensure that their drivers were always taken through classroom training and install speed limiters in the various buses to help reduce the situation.
“Now safety and security have become matters of great national concern and we cannot continue to see our people perish in these numbers,” he added.
He noted that the authority would ensure that its monitoring team was positioned at vantage points to ensure compliance with road safety measures.
“Drivers who are found to flout the measures will be put before the law courts and if convicted, they will be made to pay the administrative fines.”
“Additionally, for the operators, they will be given notices for them to comply and again, the law will be enforced by suspending their operations until their members comply,” Mr Adonteng stressed.
The Director in charge of Regulatory, Inspectorate and Compliance, Kwame Koduah Atuahene, reiterated the authority’s intentions to step up regulations and compliance of its directives.
He also said the authority would come up with a report which documents the names of companies that adhere to the laid down safety directives, adding that those who did not would face consequences.
“We will not be kind with those who have not taken our directive seriously. If others have done it and they are getting results and others have failed to do it and they’re giving us problems; we must put it out,” Mr Atuahene explained