20-member Road Safety C’ssion Board inaugurated

The Ministry of Transport has submitted a proposal to cabinet seeking to empower the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), to enforce road safety regulations.

According to Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport the road safety situation in the country was worsening partly due to the fact that the Commission currently lacked the capacity to enforce the laws.

Inaugurating a 20-member Board of directors for the Commission in Accra yesterday, the Minister expressed the hope that the proposal, when accepted, would help reduce road carnages.

The commission  was established by the NRSC Act, 1999 (Act 567) with the mandate of developing, coordinating and promoting road safety and relies on the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service for the enforcement of the regulations it develops.

Mr Asiamah said in line with the United Nations Decade of Action for road safety, the commission developed a National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS III) and an Action Plan which aimed at a 50 per cent reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2020.

“However, the risk to road traffic deaths and injuries is real and very close to us all. On daily basis, about six persons die as a result of road traffic accidents,” Mr Asiamah said, attributing the causes partially to the commission’s limited powers.

He said provisional statistics on road crashes for the first two quarters of the year was alarming, and expressed worry that apart from the human element in the crashes, road condition and the state of vehicles were often disregarded.

He charged the Board and the commission to collaborate with other institutions and solicit support towards the continuous improvement in the road infrastructure and vehicles to safeguard lives.

He cautioned the commission against usurping the role of management of the commission and advised them against reporting any matter to any higher authority without first consulting the ministry.

On the botched national towing levy policy, Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng charged the board to help find innovative ways to remove broken down vehicles from roads.

Rev. Ismala Hasmittson Awudu,  Chairman of the new Board, on behalf of the members, expressed gratitude to the President for the confidence reposed in them.

He pledged their commitment to address all issues relating to the commission specifically the increasing rate of accidents and the controversial national towing levy.

Members of the Board include Hajia Halima Yakubu, Mr Inusah Shirazu, Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah, Mrs Dora Darkwa Mensah, Mr Joseph Nobel Tetteh, Mrs Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, Mr Maxwell Sakipasgo Atingane,  Mr Alexander Kweku Krah, George Baffour Owusu Afriyie and Mrs May Obiri Yeboah, Executive Director of NRSC.

The rest are Lt. Col. George Kobina Wilson, Mr Oliver Bio, Rev. Erasmus Amankwah Addo, Mr George Fausta Baffoe, Mr David Kwasi Agyeman, Mr Francis Kwaku Afukaar, Mr Kwesi Agyemang Busia, Mr Victor Obeng-Adiyiah and Mr Kwadwo Tufour.

By Jonathan Donkor

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