Invest in road safety – Former GBC Board Member advises

Tema, Oct. 13, GNA - Former Member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Mr Gayheart Mensah, has called for investment in road safety to focus on infrastructure and consistent public education.

He said human resources were vital towards national development and sudden termination of life through road crashes thwarted such efforts.

Mr Mensah who is aspiring to be the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) said majority of those who lose their lives as a result of road accidents were the youth, the working population, "people we have spent money and resources and time to train."

He was peaking at the Tema GNA Office and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) Road Safety Campaign platform which seeks to use prominent persons to provide continuous education on the need to be safe on the roads and reduce road carnage.

The Project seeks to create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need to be cautious on the road as a user, educate all road users of their respective responsibilities, and sensitize drivers especially of the tenets of road safety.

He stated that a 10 percent reduction in road accidents and mortalities would feed into about 3.6 percent increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Mensah noted that a World Bank report revealed that, “investment in road safety is equal to investment in human capital" as there was a co-relationship between reduction in road accidents and economic development.

He stated that the study which was done in some countries, that used to have a lot of road challenges, including; China, Philippines, Tanzania, revealed that when there was a reduction in road accidents, it fed into economic development and substantial income gains.

Mr Mensah said resolving road safety and accidents on the road was not just an issue of managing mortality, but it was also a function of how the country developed and how it grew its economy.

"We struggle to make five percent GDP growth and so just investing in managing the fatalities on our roads will go straight into our economic development and this is the extent to which road safety ceases to be an issue of injuries and destruction and damage to vehicles, it is at the very heart of our survival."

Mr Mensah said refusal to act as countries and individuals, the world would be faced with losing 1.3 million lives every year according to the World Bank report.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency on his part said there was the need to provide consistent information to all stakeholders and marshal them to act hence the advocacy by the GNA-Tema and the MTTD.

He called on road management authorities to repair the faded road markings in Tema, stressing “there are schools close to some of the highways and the absence or faded road markings or zebra crossing points made it difficult for children to cross the road.

He also called for installation of Automatic Traffic Lights on highways near schools to aid the students and pupils who would press and cross the road.