NRSA urged to actively involve passengers in road safety campaigns

Mr Paul Kanatey, the president of Kpong Cooperative Transport Society, has urged the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to incorporate passengers into their road safety education initiatives in Kpong, Eastern Region. He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency about the annual Stay Alive campaign for road safety. He said it was important to involve both drivers, the public, and passengers in their campaign activities to deepen their understanding of road safety tips. ‘I think when they [passengers] are fully abreast of road safety precautions and education, they can help the driver on the road to avoid any misfortune,’ he said. He emphasised the importance of improving road safety education for passengers rather than just focusing on drivers. This is because some passengers, due to their business needs, often find themselves travelling frequently. By educating passengers and ensuring drivers are aware, Mr Kanatey said they could play an active role in promoting safe driving. He also highlighted the lack of involvement of individuals in the transport business before issuing directives for drivers, which often makes it impossible for them to comply. He noted that officers of the Ghana Police Service’s Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate must be tough to ensure road safety compliance, saying they are too lenient in their work. ‘In the olden days, when plying the roads, the police checkpoints on the roads were always in action to check our headlights to see if we had a dimmer switch or not,’ he said, ‘but now I don’t see those checks from the police.’ He noted that cargo vehicles with bright lighting frequently ignore warnings from other drivers, which could easily lead to accidents, and that emphasises that if everyone contributed their quota, accidents would be minimised to the barest minimum. The principal planning manager in charge of road safety at NRSA, Mr. Denis Yeribu, told the GNA in a phone interview that, under their flagship Stay Alive campaign, passengers formed part of it. He said specific educational items, namely practical tuition, admonishing, and readable materials, were available to passengers at various Lorry terminals. ‘Passengers are taught how to be active road safety advocates, partnering with drivers to ensure they arrive safely at their intended destinations,’ he stated. ‘Passengers are educated on speed limits, appropriate places to overtake, and how to caution drivers and possibly report recalcitrant ones,’ he said, adding, ‘Besides, drivers are also admonished to report passengers who risk journeys to the nearest police post.’ In addition, he mentioned that the NRSA offers a toll-free hotline, 194, for passengers and drivers to report any incidents of misconduct. Passengers are strongly encouraged to carefully inspect the insurance validity, number plates, roadworthy certificate, tyres, and overall condition of vehicles prior to boarding. Mr Yeribu said 18,000 unprescribed lamps were removed from vehicles from 2021 to 2022 under Road Traffic Regulation L.I. 2180, Regulation 65. He said that the exercise was in progress and would be stepped up, emphasising that the authority was collaborating with the police in implementing the ‘Police Invisible Eyes are Watching’ through the Traffitech-GH project. This smart project would use technology (mounted cameras) to capture offenders and process them for court.

Source: Ghana News Agency