Director General of the National Road Safety Authority, Mrs. May Obiri Yeboah has made a clarion call to Journalists and media organizations in Ghana to wage an intensive public education and awareness creation campaign against the alarming rate of deaths recorded on the roads.
She urged the media to educate road users and the general public using the relevant preventive messages to curb the road traffic crisis in the country.
According to Mrs. Yeboah, deaths recorded in Ghana as a result of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be compared to the number of deaths recorded in the country through road traffic accidents on daily basis.
Ghana has recorded about 290 COVID-19 deaths since March; however, Mrs. Yeboah disclosed thst as at June 2020, more than 1,000 people have died in Ghana through road accidents.
The Road Safety Authority Boss told Journalists gathered in Tamale last week from the five regions in the north that at least six people die through road crushes every day in Ghana and asked if there is any disease or illness that kills six people within a day in Ghana.
The Authority is collaborating with the Ghana Journalists Association to promote the “Arrive Alive Campaign” across the country.
Mrs Yeboah emphasised that the Arrive Alive Campaign is geared towards combating the high rate of accidents on the road.
She said quite apart from the troubling high deaths recorded in the country, the rampant accidents also leave many victims with various degrees of injuries.
“We have injuries that are permanent and those that are slight and I want us to come together to fight this menace on our roads, when we talk about road crushes this makes the road traffic crisis a serious matter.”
Consequent to that, the Director General of the National Road Safety Authority challenged the media to change the narrative about road safety by writing and speaking about the preventive mechanisms to improve the situation in Ghana.
She said journalists should not only wait until when they become victims of road accidents before they begin questions as to who is supposed to do what.
Mrs. Yeboah observed that road users are always adamant to adhere to road safety regulations anytime personnel of authority embark on public education and sensitisation.
No Road User is immune to accidents
The National Road Safety Authority Boss said no one is immune to accidents on the road and warned road users to be mindful about the regulations on the road.
“But we have said this severally that none of us are immune to road crush or accidents, it’s no respecter of persons and we have seen it in our country for many times when the Head of State of our land, both former President Kufour and President Rawlings have all been involved in road accidents before and some of our Vice Presidents also involved in road crushes.”
The Director General believes communication is a very important tool to be used to change the narrative, emphasising other countries have used it and it has give them positive results and Ghana can also achieve something with that mechanism.
“I think it behooves all of us to do our part to ensure there is safety on our roads and like I said it can happen to me today, it can happen to you tomorrow” she added.
She however commended the journalists for the good work so far, reiterating that the media should go beyond just speech reporting on the road crisis and focused more on the preventive aspects to educate the public.