Someone stop Ghana’s Road Safety Commission from this worthless pageant!

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the Commission mandated by law to promote road safety in Ghana is organising a beauty pageant to select a road safety ambassador.

The NRSC says in a press statement that it is organising the pageant in collaboration with event planner Functional Keys Ltd.

This news is not only disturbing but clearly shows the NRSC as clueless about its roles and responsibilities and as a wasteful entity!

It is so hard to see how a beauty pageant of all strategies can help curb road accidents in a country where the NRSC itself says accidents cost the country as much as $230 million every year, apart from the fact that many Ghanaians lose their lives. The amount it says, constitutes 1.7% of the country’s GDP.

Statistics available elsewhere says 1,600 people get killed every year through road traffic accidents.

A GNA report cites Mr Kwaku Oware-Boateng, Ashanti Regional Manager of the Road Safety Committee, saying that 43% of the fatalities involved pedestrians with about 23% representing children below the age of 16 years.

The GNA also cites the Executive Director of the NRSC, Noble Appiah  as saying that there are 19 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in Ghana.

This is a serious matter that calls for realistic solutions and not beauty pageants. What is the scientific proof that by selecting a beauty queen to go around and talk about road accidents, the problem can be addressed? It is a money wasting venture!

The NRSC statement says “This event does not only seek to project a personality who will use her influence as an ambassador to boost sponsorships and participation for road safety projects but also to show  the… public how they  could positively impact road safety.”

It adds that the contest would earn the winner the opportunity to lead a national campaign on Road Safety for a year.

It also says as part of the competition, the contestants would pay a visit to the accident unit of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital to witness how appalling it was to be victimised by road traffic crashes and also to the NRSC for insight into the project.

For goodness sake, if the NRSC has failed to effectively communicate its message using strategies that have been known to work all over the world in curbing road accidents, it is impossible to see how a beauty pageant can address that, except it is a convenient way to waste money that otherwise could go into a more pragmatic approach to addressing the horrendous situation in the country.

I call on well meaning Ghanaians to resist this rather worthless venture and call on whoever has the powers to stop the NRSC before it wastes money in these difficult times.

The NRSC, was established by an Act of Parliament NRSC Act 567 of 1999 and is mandated to provide strategic leadership for developing and implementing interventions and counter measures towards a sustainable management of road safety in Ghana.
But the use of a beauty pageant is way off, in so far as strategies in interventions in road safety are concerned.

Bright Simons of IMANI Ghana has said “the NRSC invited submissions from the public and they received credible proposals around the use of technology systems to regulate road conduct etc…as you know already these folks who claim to be working in the public don’t understand anything beyond private interest…” And I think officials of the NRSC shoud tell Ghanaians what happened to the proposals they received, and I hope they won’t say the pageant was the best of all the proposals that they received.

Obviously, this beauty pageant is nothing but a conduit to satisfy myopic private interests! It must be stopped now!

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

  1. SDU says

    Mr. Dogbevi,
    I agree with you totally. Strategic interventions needed, not a beauty peagent. Information, Education and Communicaiton are the keys.

  2. Kay says

    I disagree. Advocacy is a established tool for social marketing. Then you should as well condemn the various advocacy interventions for the adoption of best practices on the various social challenges that confront us.

  3. Dinah Amankwah says

    My sentiments exactly. Instead od intensifying public education and matching it with enforcement of stringent penalties to deter recalcitrant traffic offenders, the NRSC wants to organize a pageant. But then public education and law enforcement calls for innovativeness and guts, not to mention strategic planning, which all involves actual work. And work is what Ghanaians do not want to do! The reasons our road are so dangerous are clear–pedestrian-driver ignorance, police, MTTU and GRLD complicity in leaving road offences unpunished, Ghanaians’ glee for lawlessness–to mention these. Make the laws work and save lives. A road safety ambassador. Just another means to divert limited money from where it belongs!

  4. Bashiru says

    Emma, you have gotten it all wrong, more than 70% of road traffic crash victims in Ghana are the youth.Globally RTC(Road Traffic Crashes) is the number one killer of persons from age 10 and above, the situation is that this same youth do not attend road safety programs but rather finds it necessary to partake in entertainment programs or shows.The way and manner crashes have been package in our part of the world is very scary and worrying with heads of people cut off,limbs and blood all over.This situation or scenario is not attractive to the youth and they rather shy away from such gathering,now lets put road safety on the same platform that is attractive to the youth.As they have fun then the subject of road safety is impacted to them.You will agree with me that sometimes you don’t address serious issues with hard stringent rules or decisions .using your so called serious approach may not be out of place but the fact still remains that more than 90% of road fatalities occurs in developing countries.This Miss Road Safety project i think is good and is coming to rally the youth especially on the subject of road safety in Ghana.I will rather congratulate the organizers; Functional Keys Limited and the National Road Safety Commission for coming up with this laudable program which I believe will go a long way to reduce road traffic crashes in this country.In the nearest future i will not be surprise to see more countries embracing Miss Road Safety.

  5. Veronica says

    I don’t want to think that you are against the one programme that stimulates youth activism on road safety when we the youth are the ones who are mostly killed in these frequent crashes.
    the last time I checked, Mariam Naa Abbey (Miss Road Safety 2011) had embarked on several sensitization programmes, established road safety clubs in some basic as well as high schools and has even visited some youth groups of churches and mosques; calling on Christians and Muslims to have a role to play in confronting the bane of crashes in the country.
    If you care to know, entertainment has become a very big tool we can rely on in combating many social issues particularly when the attention of the youth is required.
    In any case where ever pageants came, from they have served several useful purposes; just don’t draw inferences from mishaps of other pageants and think pageants are nothing good to write home about.
    you can find out more about what this ambassador (Miss Road Safety 2011)is doing and you will regret that you nearly mislead us into believing that having this pageant was worthless.
    We need all reasonable avenues to instill road safety consciousness among road users and I think this pageant is one such avenue.
    Another exciting thing about it is that, it is the first of its kind in the world and I am not surprise that an agency in S A has also borrowed the concept.
    We have rights to our opinions but sometimes let us seek deeper understanding before we confuse viable concepts with worthless ones.

  6. Maximus A. says

    Totally useless pageant. There are several ways to effectively engage the populace to reduce road crashes in Ghana; certainly not a beauty pageant. It has never worked. Some of the previous winners of other beauty pageants have campaigned for Road Safety before. But has not proven to have worked. A dedicated to road safety won’t either.

    We should stop deceiving ourselves into thinking that people in Accra which records the highest accidents in Ghana and other regions will change their minds/behaviour and become road safety-conscious because of a beauty pageant? Joke! There are several factors that contribute to the increasing records of accidents and deaths – the road, pedestrians, road environment, automobile technology and the driver. I’m not sure a beauty pageant can effect any change in any of these factors which will translate into a reduction in road crashes.

    Because beauty pageant have not been used before can also mean it will not work when used. Communication experts will tell you that there is nothing exciting or entertaining about using events like these for serious social advocacy issues like road crashes. It won’t cut. Is it the driver who will watch the pageant, the pedestrian who has no control over the vehicles which ply the roads they use or the Road Safety Commission who will watch how their monies are spent and wasted.

    Let’s think of better mechanics which will engage all people who are in the mix of the factors which result in road crashes. The trotro driver won’t watch a beauty pageant on road safety. I’m sure he will be driving by the time of broadcasting. Pedestrians can watch but have no control over how the driver drives.

    Miss Road Satefy is a huge waste of money and spits in the face of innovative campaign strategies.

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