The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has launched the 2019 Road Safety Christmas campaign to reduce road traffic crashes in the country.
Launched at the Takoradi Station at Kaneshie, Accra, this year’s campaign is under the theme, “Stop road accidents now, before it stops you.”
Aimed at raising the level of awareness for the season, the campaign is in partnership with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and other stakeholders.
Director-General of the authority, May Obiri-Yeboah, said, provisional statistics from January to September this year indicate a 6.07 per cent and 2.25 per cent increase in the number of crashes and injuries respectively as compared to the same period in 2018.
However, she said, the period also recorded a 7.6 reduction in persons killed through road traffic crashes over the same period of 2018 and a further reduction in pedestrian knock downs by 17.4 per cent.
Ms Obiri-Yeboah explained that the yuletide season was the topmost risk season for road safety due to increases in motorisation and travels before and during the period as well as the excitement and merry making which were often characterised by disrespect for road traffic rules and regulations.
She said the season was noted for high travel speeds, overtaking, fatigue driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, wrongful road crossings among others.
Ms Obiri-Yeboah said the campaign would focus on key actions aimed at reducing the risk to road traffic crashes and casualties often associated with the busy festive end of the year, she added.
“While we acknowledge the collective contribution of stakeholders for the reductions, we are challenged to sustain it and reduce it further as we hit the busy end of the year. A crash-free yuletide is possible provided road users will renew their pledge to be more disciplined,” she stated.
To be able to curb the trend, Mrs Obiri-Yeboah called on drivers to be responsible, pedestrians to cross the road at designated safe crossing points and passenger to wear seatbelts and peak up against all forms of driver misbehaviour that endangers their lives before, during and after the festive season.
“I urge motorcyclists and tricycle ridersto wear their helmets and avoid unsafe operational practices while transport organisations and institutions observe internal controls systems which make crashes unattractive,” she added.
BY TIMES REPORTER