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General News of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

Road Safety call centre to be established in Accra

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA - The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Tuesday announced plans to establish a road safety call centre in Accra to improve upon its dialogue with the general public on issues concerning road safety.

The centre, which is expected to be ready by June this year, would afford members of the public an opportunity to make complaints on unsafe driving, violation of road traffic regulations, as well as other activities that would endanger the lives of motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

Mr. David Osafo Adonteng, a Deputy Director of the National Road Safety Commission in charge of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation said this during an interaction with a visiting two-member delegation from Lesotho's Road Safety Department.

He said the operation of the road safety call centre had become necessary due to the reluctance of people to report to the police when incidents of road accidents, unsafe driving and dangerous pedestrian crossing occur.

"Sometimes when eye witnesses go to report or give account of a road accident that has taken place they are made to go through formalities like taking their statements. This puts fear in most of these witnesses and they regret ever going to the police to give an account of the incident," he added.

According to Mr. Adonteng, the establishment of the call centre would also help the public to volunteer information freely to the Commission without fear, adding that this would allow the NRSC to engage with the police and the appropriate authorities effectively when road accidents occur.

Mr. Adonteng said when it became effective, the call centre would be extended to the other regions in future.

He said, as part of efforts to promote its dialogue with the public on issues of road safety, the Commission had developed a website which was expected to be launched in March this year.

Mr. Adonteng indicated that the NRSC is working towards the establishment of a National Drivers Academy to train drivers on safe driving.

He said the project which would be on a pilot basis for a six-month period would help in addressing issues of driver incompetence.

Mr. Adonteng said a Legislative Instrument (LI) that sought to ban the use of mobile phones when driving was awaiting approval by cabinet and added that the approval would enable the Commission to strictly enforce the ban on the use of mobile phones by motorists.

He appealed to local and international donor organisations to support the Commission in achieving its objective of recording a single digit rate in terms of road traffic accidents by 2015.

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