The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), last Friday engaged all stakeholders in the transport sector in the Eastern Region to solicit their views and inputs on the drafting of a new Legislative Instrument (LI) to regulate and promote road safety in the country.
The engagement was the last part of a nationwide stakeholder consultative workshop organised by the NRSA in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport to educate the stakeholders on the drafted LI, which would enable the NRSA to coordinate and regulate activities, procedures and standards related to road safety issues.
It brought together stakeholders from the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) and National Ambulance Service, among others.
The Executive Director of the NRSA, Mrs May Obiri Yeboah, revealed that in 2019, the Commission was converted into an Authority after Parliament passed the National Road Safety bill into an Act.
She added that the Act allowed for the establishment of the NRSA and to provide it with adequate powers to discharge its mandate.
“To operationalise the National Road Safety Act, which established the Authority, and to be able to give it legislative framework and its regulatory functions, an LI has to be drafted,” he said, adding that there was the need to solicit the views of all stakeholders to make it a feasible document.
She noted that the new LI being drafted, unlike the first, “would give the NRSA a legal backing to enforce and demand compliance to all the regulations slated in the Act”
That, she said, would help promote and coordinate road safety-related policies as well as implement and enforce standards for road safety.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, speaking at the meeting, called on the Authority and other stakeholders to strictly enforce the new Legislative Instrument after it has successfully passed through parliament to become law to ensure discipline and safety on all roads in the country.
According to the regional minister, even though road transport remained the main mode of transportation in the country, it had been saddled with many safety challenges, making roads unsafe and susceptible to preventable road traffic fatalities and injuries.
“It is against this compelling background that, road traffic laws and regulations being drafted to guide the behaviour of road users have become even more paramount,” he said, adding that the impact of road traffic crashes and their corresponding casualties posed developmental and public health issues with mitigating effects against the socio-economic development of the country.
He, however, called on stakeholders not to lose sight of the fact that, regulations for road transport users were needed to provide applicable and acceptable standards to guide road service delivery, operations and management in the sector, and urged all stakeholders to collectively harmonise their strategies into the LI being drafted.
The stakeholders tasked the NRSA to consider the sale of spare parts, construction of roads, and regulation of motorcycles, among others, in the new LI.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA