The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has engaged the leadership of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of Trade Unions Congress (TUC) in Accra.
The engagement, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, June 9th and 10th 2021 respectively, was to consider aspects of the draft National Road Safety Authority Regulations.
The Authority is required by Act 993 to make regulations for the operationalisation of the new mandate or agenda for road safety to help reduce the incidence of road traffic deaths and injuries.
Kwame Koduah Atuahene, Head of Regulations, Inspections & Compliance at the Authority said, over the years, the Authority with the partnership of other stakeholders has worked tirelessly to increase road safety awareness levels from about 40% in 2006 to 85% as of 2018.
These, he said, they did through direct engagements and media campaigns.
He explained that the Authority is considering new measures to turn the curve on the numbers.
According to him, the new agenda for the Authority is to focus on institutional indiscipline and irresponsibility.
Our reality is that duty bearers, like road users, have become very irresponsible in implementing standards that prevent the occurrence of a road traffic crash. Road engineers ignore road safety standards in their design and construction, Driver and Vehicle standards are sometimes compromised, Transport Companies and Unions prioritize profits over safety, importers will bring in sub-standard equipment. All of this happens because no one watches the watchman. The Authority intends to use sanctions including administrative penalties to change that narrative and we are committed to that, he explained.
The meetings discussed the need to improve institutional controls in the transport sector.
Per the discussions, Commercial Transport Operators, passenger and freight, will come under a new operating licensing regime.
This will ensure that leadership holds their members or owners of vehicles to high safety standards as insurance for their licenses.
The Associations welcomed the initiative but advised that the Authority harmonises its processes with the District Assemblies and National Petroleum Authority in the case of OMCs.
They also charged the Authority to exercise its new mandate fairly to ensure an improvement of the quality or safety of the roads.
The Authority has also planned to engage other stakeholders including Tanker Owners’ Association, Importers of road safety equipment, haulage companies, among others to finalise the draft Regulations.