Incorporate road safety in 2016 campaigns

President MahamaPresident John Dramani Mahama has asked political parties to endeavour to incorporate road safety measures in their campaigning as the country approaches the 2016 elections.

He said this was because in the past some lives have been lost through avoidable political related gatherings and rallies.

“As politicians, we must show good examples and lead the path of road discipline to ensure that our party supporters and the generality of Ghanaians are not in danger,” he said.

These were contined in a speech read on his behalf by Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Deputy Minister of Transport, at the fifth National Road Safety Awards held in Accra on Friday.

The awards was instituted by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to celebrate commercial passenger operators that made efforts to improve their road safety operations over the year.

Media practitioners and individual stakeholders who have taken proactive initiatives to help avert some of the needless deaths on the roads were also recognised for their meritorious services.

In all, over 20 individuals and organisations were recognised in an evening Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Ltd. and were adjudged the 2015 safety-oriented Commercial Passenger Transport Organisation while Mr. Asamoah Boateng of Kings Radio, Konongo in Ashanti Region was made the Youth Ambassador for Road Safety 2015.

President Mahama said globally, road safety had become a global public health and developmental issue, saying, governments and their agencies have no excuse and must work closely with the private sector, civil society organisations and all road users to make the road safer.

He said in Ghana, since road transportation remained the most dominant mode of transport which accounted for about 95 per cent of the transportation needs, there was the need to ensure that the challenges that affected the safe use of the road was strictly adhere to by all stakeholders.

“The sad reality is that road traffic crashes continue to deny us resources that can positively influence the Better Ghana Agenda since between January and October this year, 9,045 road traffic crashes were recorded involving 1,448 vehicles resulting in 1,379 deaths and 7770 injuries,” he said.

He said the cost of crashes to the economy was estimated at 1.6 of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), therefore, there was the need to improve the road safety situation through initiatives such as the road safety awards.

Mr Mahama said the NRSC’s National Road Safety Strategy III (NRSSIII 2011-2020) which was targeted to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 per cent before 2020 was at mid-point, therefore, there was the need to work hard on all fronts to achieve the said targets during the next five-year lap.

Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, Executive Director for NRSC said the commission introduced some reforms by bringing on board experts to help diversify the awards content.

She commended Mr. Mike Hammah, who introduced the awards scheme during his tenure as a Transport Minister, saying, “on the occasion of the fifth edition, I wish to appreciate the impact he made on promoting road safety”.

Mrs Obiri-Yoboah said the event in recognising the contributions of some deserving advocates and corporate organisations that impact on the safe use of the road would help ensure improvement in road safety management practices.

By Lawrence Markwei          


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