Cape Coast, Oct 31, GNA “ The Central Regional office of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Wednesday rewarded three transport organizations in the region for their contributions to road safety.
They are the Metro Mass Transit (MMT), The Cooperative Transport Union and the Central Regional Branch of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU) .
The MMT, which was adjudged the best transport organization in the region, was rewarded with reflective triangles and jackets, highway codes, tyre pressure gadgets and other road safety items worth GHâ‚µ 8,000, a certificate of honour as well as road safety training course for 15 drivers.
The Cooperative Transport Union, which came second, took items worth GHâ‚µ 6,000 and training course for 10 drivers while the Central Regional Branch of the GPRTU which emerged third received items worth GHâ‚µ 4,000 and a training course for five of its drivers.
The ceremony was under the theme śSafe Transport Systems-The Role of Transport Operators and the Media ś and śBe Alert, Look Out for the Road Usersť
Mr. Stephen Anokye, the Central Regional Chairman of NRSC, called on drivers to value the safety of passengers and that 90% of the road accidents in the country were due to human errors and that most of them occurred in the night when the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the police were not on duty to put the drivers in check.
Mr. Anokye advised against the practice where influential people in the society called for the release of drivers who are arrested for road traffic offences adding that the situation was not helping with the maintenance of law and order on the road.
He called on leaders of the various religious bodies, stakeholders, teachers and the general public to join in the education of all on road safety issues .
The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Sarpong in a speech read for him, noted with concern that the nation™s human resource development was dwindling rapidly through road crashes since most of the victims fall within the productive age bracket of the economy.
He said out of the average of 1,800 persons that die in road accidents annually, 60% of them were between the ages of 18 and 55.
The Regional minister said despite the alarming statistics, commitment to enforce the existing road traffic crash legislations was not encouraging and therefore called for pragmatic strategies to be evolved to check human associated errors such as over speeding, wrongful over taking, drunk- driving , fatigue- driving and the non-use of seatbelts.
śPreventive, persuasive and punitive measures aimed at controlling road user behavior must be put in place to effect the safe and efficient movement of traffic.ť He added
Mr Sarpong congratulated the award winners and called on them to heighten the Regional road safety awareness and set the pace towards the national vision of making Ghana the safest road transport system in Africa as well as the African vision of a single digit index per 10,000 vehicles by the year 2015.
The Deputy Central Regional MTTU Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)Bernard Amidu Norgah, called on the public to join the road safety campaign since road safety issues were not only about the driving population.
He urged the award winners to continue to exhibit the best practices that earned them the awards and those who did not win any award to work harder to ensure safety on the roads.
Dasebre Kwebu Ewusie VII, President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs who was presented with a citation for his effort towards road safety issues in the Region, condemned drunk driving and promised to donate more breathalyzers to help the police arrest such drivers.
A number of Lollipop stands were donated to some schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis that are located along roads.
Ms. Vivian Etru, the Metropolitan Director of education who demonstrated how the lollipop stands are used, cautioned school children and other users against the misuse of the lollipop stands.
The ceremony was preceded by a brass band procession from Holy Child Senior High School through some principal streets of the Metropolis by school children who carried placards some of which read, śDrivers you are killing our parentsť, ś If you drink ,do not driveť, śover speeding kills, kill your speedť.