Apply the law more in road safety

The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has been organising road safety campaigns or education, particularly in the run-up to festivities.

Therefore, its launch yesterday of a fresh one to sensitise the public to road safety during the Easter festivities was not unexpected.

The campaign’s tagline “Easter Stay Alive” is not new either.

In this current campaign, the NRSA says among other actions that it is going to station outreach teams at strategic points on highways.

Besides, it will populate the roads with officers from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to check drivers and also collaborate with other stakeholders in the transport sector to engage and educate transport operators on various road safety measures.

The truth is that this campaign is not different from any other organised in the past yet the impunity on the road has persisted with damning figures of deaths and injuries resulting therefrom.

Is it not sad to learn, for example, that 2924 people died in road crashes 2021 and that 232 died in only January this year?

The NRSA has the overall object of reducing road traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries and this it must do through promotion of road safety; development and co-ordination of related policies; and implementation and enforcement of standards for road safety.

Without any prejudice, one can say that every organisation’s performance is evaluated in line with its mandate or assignment(s).

Such evaluation is heavily based on results evident to everyone who cares to know or concerned with the stipulated assignment.

The Ghanaian Times is not in to judge or blame the NRSA but it won’t mince words to tell the Authority that it has to evaluate its own performance and address the challenges.

It is an open secret that the negative behaviour of personnel of the MTTD, for example, is a drawback on road safety and this must be checked.

They are more interested in the tips from the drivers than the safety on the road.

How often do they ask passengers about drivers’ conduct on the road?

Has the Authority drummed home the fact that passengers are the victims of drivers’ impunity and so drivers and the police must give them some regard when they express their views about drivers’ speeding, overloading and other undesirable acts?

Occasional road safety campaigns are good but would not achieve the desired safety results.

There should come a time when some designated road safety agents or focus persons must be stationed at the lorry parks, who would inform or remind drivers, their mates and passengers, particularly those going on long journeys, of their rights and responsibilities towards each other.

Then the police on motor checks can, at least, randomly ask passengers whether drivers were careful on the road.

Passengers must be educated to keep the numbers of vehicles they board so that they can lodge complaints about impunity for police investigations and prosecution, if need be.

The NRSA must also encourage the strict application of any road safety law without favour for anyone, not even the so-called big men.

Since cars are status symbols in the country, those who drive the big ones are deemed to be big men and “untouchable”.

Due to this, some of these people who drive V8 vehicles take advantage of the situation and misbehave on the road by way of speeding and wrongful overtaking in which case they force everyone out of the way.

This, for instance, can only be checked by law and so the NRSA must highlight the law otherwise the campaigns notwithstanding, the impunity on the road would persist and the country would continue to rue the results of deaths and injuries.

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