The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has begun drafting a new Legislative Instrument (LI) to enable it to advance the enforcement of the provisions in the NRSA Act 993 which established the authority.
Already the draft has been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Department to fine tune the provisions.
This was after a nationwide consultative meeting to collate views and create and an opportunity for stakeholders in the road sector to make their contributions.
From there, the drafted LI will be presented to Parliament for approval which will then give the authority the legal backing to promote and coordinate road safety-related policies as well as enhance its efforts to implement and enforce standards for road safety.
This was disclosed by the Assistant Planning Manager of the authority, Mr Prince Ayim, during an interview with the Daily Graphic at a defensive and road safety training for heavy-duty truck drivers in Tema last Saturday.
The training was organised by Zonda Tec Ghana, a leading company in sales of heavy and light duty trucks in the country, as part of its efforts to improve the skills and attitudes needed for road safety.
The drivers were taken through personal responsibility training, causes of accidents, defensive driving techniques, rules and regulations on the road as well as effect of drink driving by officers from the NRSA, Driver and Vehicle Licence Authority and the Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service.
Mr Ayim stated that the NRSA had, since time immemorial, scaled up road safety education to control accidents on the highways.
However, he said efforts seemed unsurmountable as fatalities on the road kept increasing.
For that reason, he said, there was the urgent need for the passage of the bill to help the authority to regulate transport operations and promote standards to control road crashes.
Mr Ayim said about 90 per cent of accidents in Ghana were caused by the human factor, therefore, as professionals, he urged drivers to make zero tolerance of accident their target by driving differently from any other drivers.
Additionally, he urged them to become agents of change by avoiding speeding and take about 30 minutes rest after every four hours of driving.
Why the training
For her part, the Head of Human Resource and Administration at Zonda Tec Ghana, Nana Afua Pomaa Frimpong, stated that the training session was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, and it aimed to provide the drivers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for vehicle safety both as a driver and a pedestrian.
She explained effective training was necessary for a driver’s safety, to minimise accidents, foster a high level of personal driving responsibility, minimise maintenance cost and help build strong safety culture.
“Here, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously. As automobile industry, 60 per cent of our staff and clients are drivers. It is necessary for us to organise this training annually to minimise accidents.” Ms Frimpong said.
“Once there is an accident, it is a huge cost to the nation and to the organisation as well. This year our target is zero accident, we do not even want to record any encounters with the police as regards disrespectful, indecent and indiscipline behaviour on the road,” she added.
The NRSA was originally established as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) by an Act of Parliament (NRSC 1999, Acts 567) to plan, develop, promote and coordinate policies related to road safety.
The law was, however, repealed in August 2019 and replaced with the National Road Safety Authority Acts, 2019 (Acts 993) with additional mandates.