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General News of Monday, 25 May 2015

Source: Anita Frimpong

First lady calls for government to strengthen the NRSC

The first lady of the republic of Ghana, Her Excellency Lordina Mahama is appealing to the government of Ghana to strengthen the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) at the lead agency for the road safety to deliver on it mandate by promoting road safety and advising government on practicable policy lines.

She said this will transform the commission into an authority to amongst others demand safety from it agencies.

Her Excellency said road traffic crashes are a major public health issue and a leadings cause of death, injuries and disability especially in low and middle income is estimated that globally about 1.24million people die annually and millions more injured or disabled as a result of crashes which can be prevented.

‘Ghana records an average of 2,000 deaths annually on our roads with 14,000 others getting injured. I am told that 60 out the total of 395 road traffic deaths which were recorded in the first quarter of this year were children under age 18-years; this represents 15 per cent of the total road traffic deaths for the period," she said.

This report compared with that of the same period in 2014 however, there was a reduction of 38.14 per cent in child fatality in 2015 which I obviously commendable considering that some success was chalked.

She appeals to stakeholders to work effective and efficient together even force a bigger margin of reduction.

Her Excellency Mahama said road traffic crashes place pressure on direct medical and rehabilitation cost and the extent that in Ghana road traffic crashes costs the nation 1.6 per cent of its GDP indeed poses threat valuable gains in national development.

According to her men constitute 70 per cent of road deaths and this is because in Ghana the dependency of men is so high places women and mother at very difficult situations where they struggle to take up the responsibility for the upkeep of the family and several others.

She made this statement at the commemoration of the third UN Global road safety week with the theme; children and road safety’ under the global child safety campaign ‘Savekidslives’ here in Accra.

She said children in Ghana face the challenge of inadequate crossing aid and properly designed points, less child friendly roads, inadequate emergency response.

Her Excellency Lordina inspire road contractors and engineers to do more by providing child friendly facilities in road design and construction.

Meanwhile the minister of Transport, Dzifa Ativor said child safety on the road I a problem because people have not taken the issue of safety serious.

‘Knowledge and skill of road usage among children are very low and coupled with the limited safety facilities in road infrastructure. She said.

The minter said the third UN global road safety week 201 is worth commemorating since it offers us a unique opportunity to publicly generate actions towards child safety.

Speaking on behalf Dr.Magda Robalo,, Michelle thillkanam from the World Health Organization ( WHO) said the WHO has identified that road traffic death rates is 3 times higher in developing countries with injuries ranking amongst the top 4 causes of death for children above 5 years.

She said there is the need to implement road scholar patrol systems at schools, pedestrian bridges over busy roads, increase media announcements focusing on safe driving, increase speed limits around residential areas, backle up and sign up to the save kids declaration by visiting ;

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education hinted that road safety clubs had been formed in schools to whip up the interest of children in road safety matters.

She said road safety text-books and teaching manuals had been prepared for basic and junior high schools.

'With the help of the World Bank, these road safety text-books have been prepared in our own context for easy learning and understanding', she said.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang said a series of trainer workshops for teacher across the country had been organised to enable them teach the subject effectively.
Executive director of the national road safety commission (NRSC), Engineer May Obiri Yeboah said road safety management I becoming complex judging from the nature of how road traffic crashes occur.

According to her strong partnerships and collaboration I required in the fields of enforcement, engineering, emerge service and education.

She said the NRSC will continue to be proactive in employing conventional approaches that are cost effective, practical and result oriented as we chart paradigm sift in road safety interventions and initiatives.