The Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Ms May Obiri-Yeboah, has urged members of the public to strictly observe road traffic regulations to prevent road crashes as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivities.
She observed that given that Christmas was associated with a lot of movement across the country, it was important for road users to prioritise their safety by staying away from acts that had the tendency to cause road accidents.
Again, she called on drivers of commercial vehicles not to allow monetary interest to influence them to break road traffic regulations.
"I want to urge road users, especially drivers, to observe road traffic regulations, including wearing of seat belts, helmets, observing speed limits, avoiding drink-driving and wrongful overtaking that can lead to crashes," Ms Obiri-Yeboah said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday on how to prevent road crashes which are rampant during the festive season, the director-general further stressed the need for pedestrians to use footbridges and zebra crossings appropriately to avoid being knocked down by vehicles.
Ms Obiri-Yeboah observed that ensuring road safety and reducing road crashes were a collective responsibility that required a concerted effort by all stakeholders.
"As road users, we are collectively bound by the safety and security offered by our road transport system. Ensuring our safety and preserving our lives are well within the spirit of Christmas, which reminds us to celebrate the sanctity of life and to protect it at all times," she stressed.
The director-general said while it was the mandate of the NRSA to lead policy directions that would help to reduce road crashes, the authority could not do it alone without the collaboration of other stakeholders.
In that regard, Ms Obiri-Yeboah called on leaders of faith-based organisations, particularly churches that would travel for Christmas conventions, to ensure that their members adhered to road traffic regulations.
She observed that Christmas, which was a season of love, care and compassion, would only be complete if "we look out for other road users the same way we care for the sick, the hungry and the downtrodden."
Education and enforcement
The NRSA rolled out the "Arrive Alive" and the "Stay Alive" initiatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to help reduce carnage on the road.
As part of the campaign, the NRSA rallied non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the media and road safety ambassadors to sensitise people to the need to obey road traffic regulations and educate them to stay away from triggers of road crashes.
Ms Obiri-Yeboah said the NRSA and its partners would continue to take the sensitisation programmes to bus terminals, markets and other public places to ensure that members of the public got the relevant information on road safety.
She also said the authority would support the MTTD to enforce road traffic regulations and help reduce road accidents associated with the festive season.