Ghana’s National Road Safety Authority has come out with a slogan as it seeks to heighten compliance with road safety regulations.
The slogan “Gyae Obonsam Adwoma No,” (stop doing the devil’s work) adds to the Authority’s “Stay Alive” campaign to engage the consciences of drivers, motorists, and pedestrians to uphold road safety regulations.
Programmes director, Mr David Osafo Adonteng said that human error continued to account for almost all road accidents, and that the mantra was chosen to stimulate individual responsibility, noting that most drivers tend to blame the devil whenever their actions and inactions resulted in accidents.
He said at the Volta Regional launch of the Campaign “The carnage on our roads is bleeding our health facilities. It’s a big issue and we are losing our loved ones. All stakeholders have roles to play and must start from today.
He continued “Most drivers keep blaming the devil for their actions and inactions and we must all take advantage of the safety campaign to disabuse people’s mindsets. All Ghanaians must become advocates.”
Mr Adonteng said a three-pronged approach of education, enforcement, and advocacy was being adopted, and mentioned “vicious” enforcement in collaboration with the police, commending the efforts of newly appointed.
The Stay Alive campaign is a close collaboration with major partners including the Police, Fire, and the Ambulance Services, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, and also the various transport unions.
Traditional leaders are also being engaged to help reach the communities with the sensitization on their roles in minimizing road crashes.
Mr Kwasi Tsibu Yirenkyi, Regional Director of the Road Safety Authority, said the reluctance of passengers to speak up against risky driving and road use, kept drivers comfortable in the killing and maiming spree.
He said the Volta Region continued to record increases in road crashes with no dip in the number of motorbikes involved, and expressed hope that the campaign would help make roads safer during the Christmas festivities.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, who launched the campaign in the Region, said there was the need to protect lives during the season, adding that the advances of the road safety authority would reduce the impact of crashes and must therefore be supported by all.
“This journey the national road safety authority has embarked on, is invaluable and cannot be taken for granted at all. Therefore there is the need for all of us to lend the necessary support and push to this effort of ensuring that we reduce drastically the cases of road accidents in the country and more importantly, in the Volta Region”.
Togbe Dunyo IV, Chief of Ave Atanve, and CEO of the Road safety Empowerment Foundation, an NGO, who chaired the launch said the implementation of preventive measures remained crucial.
“There have been lots of forums but the recommendations and the interventions are not always implemented,” he said, noting the persisting challenges of bad roads and speed ramps amongst others.
More than 2600 deaths from road crashes have been recorded from January to November nationwide, of which 114 occurred in the Volta Region.
Mr Adonteng told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines that it had become necessary to fight road crashes with the same ruthlessness with which the nation fought the COVID-19 pandemic, as it consumed 1.6 per cent of GDP.
He added that outreach teams of the NSRA would be deployed to commercial transport terminals across the country during the yuletide to conduct pre-departure tests in collaboration with the police.
The tests would ensure that all commercial drivers had licenses, were fit, sober, and had enough rest before embarking on journeys.