“Service uniforms are not protective equipment against motor accidents and all must endeavour to acquire the appropriate driver’s licence to enable them drive”.
Mr Thomas Bismark Boakye, Western Regional Manager of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) said this during a day’s “Incident Command and Control” workshop held for senior officers from security services, safety managers, transport managers and the media in Takoradi.
The workshop was to enable the participants to plan ahead in dealing with some of the emergencies on the roads such as road traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities.
He said many officials of the security services, including the police did not have valid driver’s licence but because they are always in uniform their driver license are not checked when they are on the road.
Mr Boakye said that many other road users drive their vehicles without the requisite licence and urged them to acquire valid licence.
The NRSC regional manager was however happy that motor crashes had reduced significantly in the region due to the number of police check points and the decongestion of major streets and car parks in the region and pledged that it would be sustained to further reduce motor crashes.
Mr Boakye said for two years the region did not record any motor accidents during the yuletide but regretted that three lives were lost during this year’s Christmas.
He said the region recorded a total of 523 motor accidents last year involving 351 commercial and 172 private vehicles whiles 759 motor bikes were also involved in accidents resulting in the death of 109 people.
Mr Boakye said 125 deaths were recorded with 563 injuries.
He said the region also recorded 161 pedestrian knockdowns of which 58 died.
Mr Boakye said many of the commercial vehicles that were involved in accidents in the year under review did not belong to any union or particular lorry station and gave the assurance that everything would be done to address the problem.
He mentioned road user indiscipline, abuse of road markings and signs, intolerance, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, fatigue driving, talking on phone whiles driving and driving without due regard to road traffic laws and regulations as some of the road safety problems in the region.
Mr Boakye said his outfit would intensify public education on road safety issues and announced that NRSC was collaborating with Rotary Club to re-paint all the pedestrian crossing in the region.
The NRSC Regional Manager said this year, the Commission was poised to punish all traffic offenders, adding that with the institution of a driver training school, any driver who breaks the law would be sent to the school for training.
On the way forward he suggested the quick implementation of the spot fine in the country as well as the institutionalization of towing system.
The participants were also taken through dealing with LPG incidents, loading of cargo, health awareness, occupational injuries and leadership skills.