A Nationwide road safety campaign aimed at tackling road crashes in the country has been launched in Accra.
Dubbed ‘Stay Alive’ the campaign would focus on education, advocacy, training and enforcement to fight the menace of road traffic crashes and casualties.
It would involve daily road safety tips by the media, engineer conversations on road safety issues, set-up weekly panel discussions and air audio-visual and documentaries in various languages.
The campaign is being championed by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) in partnership with other stakeholders including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD), New Times Corporation (NTC), publishers of Ghanaian Times and The Spectator, Ghana Insurers Association, Didier Drogba Foundation.
Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who launched the campaign yesterday said, it was the second phase of the ‘Arrive Alive’ road safety campaign rolled out last year.
He said it was time to adopt a positive road safety culture in order to change the narrative on road safety in Ghana and Africa and protect the citizenry from death through needless road crashes.
The objective of the campaign, he explained, was to encourage all Ghanaians to be road safety advocates and debunk the wrongly held perception that road crashes was the doing of the devil.
Mr Asiamah said indiscipline had been identified as the main contributory factor to road crashes saying “excessive speeding, reckless overtaking, driving tired on the part of drivers, jaywalking, non-wearing of crash helmet and crossing of red-light, among other, are the common human-related factors confronting road safety management strategies.”
In this regard, he noted that, government was focused on implementing recommendations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for enforcement of regulations on two drivers for long distance journeys and pre-departure checks at transport terminals.
Installation of speed limiters in vehicles, mandatory refresher training for commercial vehicle drivers, provision of road signs, road line markings, street lights and crash barriers on major highways, increase highway patrols and automation of traffic enforcement to detect, apprehend and issue fines to traffic law violators, were the other recommendations currently under implementation, he stated.
The Minister urged road users to be disciplined, circumspect and responsible while encouraging passengers and pedestrians to speak up against bad driver behaviour and stay alert when they cross the roads respectively.
The Director-General of NRSA, May Obiri-Yeboah, noted that between January and October this year, 2,300 and 12,800 persons have been killed and injured respectively through road traffic crashes.
The loss of lives and its associated economic losses, she said, could not be allowed to continue especially as the December festivities draw nearer and urged Ghanaians to be active in promoting road safety practices.
As part of the campaign, she said the NRSA had introduced a telephone short code, 194, so that citizens could report drivers who violate road safety laws.
Former footballer and ambassador of the campaign, Didier Drogba, in a speech read on his behalf, encouraged every Ghanaian to be part of the solution to end the unnecessary loss of lives through road crashes by following and sharing campaign messages with their loved ones.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS AND CONNIELOVE M. DZODZEGBE