A MINUTE’S silence was observed yesterday at the launch of the 2015 National Road Safety Awards in memory of Mr Samuel Nuamah, the Ghanaian Times Presidential Correspondent, who died in road crash last Thursday.
The awards ceremony is slated for November 13.
The Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), May Obiri-Yeboah, expressed sympathies to the late Nuamah’s family and staff of the New Times Corporation and wished the surviving journalists speedy recovery.
Deadline for the entries has been rescheduled with the new date to be announced later.
The Director of Planning and Programmes at the commission, David Osafo Adonteng, said officials of the commission had visited the accident scene and had “identified some defects on the tyres of the vehicle, “adding that they would make the information available as soon as the police conclude their investigations.
Launching the awards scheme, Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said ” the sad reality is that, these crashes are avoidable, if we apply some diligence to hire the right driver with the right attitude and training”.
“We can avoid these crashes if we can be diligent to maintain our vehicles and permit only roadworthy vehicles on our road as owners or operators,” she stressed.
“We can make the difference when we promptly fix minor roadworks without waiting until they turn into potholes or death traps. Less people will die if as pedestrians we use either kerb drill and cross only safe crossing points,” she said.
Noting that road traffic crashes is responsible for an average of 2,000 deaths a year the Executive Director of the NRSC said the situation was far more than the deaths recorded through crimes yearly.
She said 33 per cent of these deaths were passengers and cargo edible-related and almost 60 per cent of crash victims were within the productive brackets ofb18-55 years
“This situation, impacts on our economy negatively, affects tourism, stretches the health infrastructure., health bill and estimated to cost 1.6 of Gross Domestic Product, ” she said.
The Executive Director said the awards scheme took a break after fourth edition to allow for reflection on the impact of the awards on transport operators, the prize package as well as a the overall packaging of the scheme, adding that an evaluation exercise conducted, posted positive returns to organise the fifth edition.
Turning to the modalities of the award scheme, Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said the scheme had been repackaged to respond to emerging trends and needs within the road safety environment.
She said there would be six categories with three new categories of Best Road Safety Oriented Basic School, Youth Ambassador for Road Safety and best driver.
She said packages of the awards scheme which also included Best Road Safety Journalist Award would include cash prizes, plague and other materials that would enhance the work of the beneficiaries.
The executive director appealed to corporate Ghana to support the commission in terms of the packages for the beneficiaries.
The event, which is being supported by Origin 8, a marketing and communication agency, would be held in all the regions and crowned with the national event in Accra.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman