By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Dec 19, GNA - The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) is ready to use its power to stem the rates of car crashes by applying sanctions against stakeholders who refuse to comply with standards that ensure the safety of the travelling public.
The Authority now has the power to promote road safety by developing and co-ordinate policies, implementing and enforcing standards.
Mr Kwame Koduah Atuahene, Head of Regulation, Inspection and Compliance of NRSA, who announced this, therefore, urged the Government to resource it to carry out its mandate.
He was speaking at a workshop to sensitise the media on the National Road Safety Authority Act, 2019 (Act 993) in order to partner them in efforts to make the roads safer.
The regulator can now demand compliance from stakeholders, such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police, and in default, apply sanctions.
It also has the power to conduct investigations into a road transport system to ascertain a violation of a standard that constitutes a threat or risk to public safety and make recommendations to the Minister of Transport for implementation.
The Act stipulates that a person who disregards a compliance notice issued by the Authority is liable to pay an administrative penalty fee.
Mr Atuahene explained that with the legal backing, the Authority would deploy safety inspectors to help with compliance.
The Bill, which transformed the body from a Commission into an Authority, was passed by, in June, by Parliament and assented to by the President on August 2, 2019.
The National Road Safety Commission of Ghana was established by an Act of Parliament (NRSC Act 567 of 1999).
Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, the Director-General, NRSA said, the Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, launched this year's Road Safety Christmas Campaign at the Kaneshie Transport Terminal, in Accra, on the theme: “Stop a Road Accident Now Before It Stops You”.
The campaign is aimed at reminding Ghanaians, especially motorists and pedestrians to be road safety conscious before and after the Christmas festivities.
The NRSA team is, therefore, started undertaking outreach programmes from December on major roads, transport terminals, schools and other public places, on road safety.
The campaign ends on January 7, 2020.
The country recorded 11,342 road crashes from January to October, 2019 resulting in 1,915 deaths.
This is close to the 1,921 deaths recorded for the whole of 2018.
The Reverend Ismaila Awudu, the Board Chair, NRSA, said these deaths were due to indiscipline and disrespect for road regulations in relation to driving above speed limits, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, wrong overtaking and the refusal to use seatbelts.
He urged all stakeholders to collaborate with the Authority to adhere to its mandate.
This, he explained, was critical because road safety was a shared responsibility.
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