NRSC commences establishment of 100 road surveillance countries

Mr.Kwaku Ofori Asiamah - Transport MinisterThe Ministry of Transport, through the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has commenced the establishment of 100 Road Surveillance and Incident Response Centres (RoadSIRC) across the national road network.

 

These centres would be equipped with the requisite logistics to carry out 24/7 surveillance of Ghana’s road network to identify risky road-user behaviours on the road and respond accordingly with the appropriate actions to prevent road incidents.

 

The RoadSIRCs would be manned by trained personnel from the National Ambulance Service, the National Road Safety Commission, the Ghana Red Cross Society, the Ghana Police Service, the NADMO and the Ghana National Fire Service.

 

The Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who made this disclosure on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday said this was in response to the rampant crashes on the country’s roads.

 

He was honouring an invitation given to him by the House a fortnight ago to give it a briefing on the Adenta-Madina Highway pedestrian knockdowns which dominated national discussions.

 

According to Mr Asiamah, “the road safety challenge is one largely borne out of our own failures to act proactively and responsibily as public agencies in responding to road safety issues quickly with policy and real interventions.

 

“Most of the road crashes could also have been prevented if road users had been disciplined and demonstrated responsibility for safe road use practices and compliance with existing road traffic regulations as drivers, pedestrians, passengers, motorcyclists and operators of road transport services.”

 

To this end, Mr Asiamah said agencies working in the area of road safety had been given the needed funds to sensitise the citizenry and enforce road traffic regulations especially on travel speeds and provisions of appropriate road furniture, road signs and road markings.

 

To give the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) the teeth to bite, Mr Asiamah said Cabinet had approved a proposal to transform the Commission into an authority with a new mandate to “regulate and enforce institutional standards for road safety related activities and issue appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.”

 

According to Mr Asiamah, the NRSC and other stakeholders were embarking on activities including a reward system for drivers to encourage safe road practices, enforce speed and seatbelt usage, amongst others to promote positive change on roads and asked lawmakers to be road safety ambassadors.

 

Giving statistics of road traffic accidents this year, Mr Asiamah said 1,921 persons had perished out of 11,159 road crashes recorded involving 18,063 vehicles leaving 11,130 others injured.

 

He said the completion of the footbridges on the Adenta-Madina stretch of the Tetteh Qusshie-Aburi highway was underway and called on residents of the area and the citizenry as a whole to cooperate with the contractors for a speedy completion of the six bridges.

 

Commenting on the statement, Ningo Prampram member, Sam Nartey George said transforming the NRSC into an authority was not the solution to the road related accidents but enforcement and called on his colleagues not to abuse the road safety system by virtue of being lawmakers.

 

Transport Committee Chairman, Samuel Ayeh-Paye on his part welcomed the transforming of the NRSC into an authority because though the road sector controls over 95 per cent of transportation, little attention has been given it and called for behaviour change among road users.

 

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu entreated the government to resource the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service to be able to overcome what he considered was impunity on the country’s roads.

He said the lack of the enforcement of road traffic regulations was emboldening others to engage in same and cautioned members from abusing sirens.

 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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