There is no doubt, that the National Road Safety Authority is in a stronger position to help prevent road accidents in the country.
The passage of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) Bill in August 2019 has presented real opportunity for the authority to take full control and responsibility to ensure compliance on road safety laws and regulation.
Members of a stakeholder advocacy group are happy that the passage of the Bill has provided legal backing to the existing National Road Safety Commission to develop and promote road safety in the country.
Ghana Bar Association’s representative on the advocacy group, Lawyer Kwaku Kodua Atuahene indicated that the new National Road Safety Authority Bill Act enables the NRSA to enforce institutional standards and issue appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.
Lawyer Atuahene further observed that the Act has empowered the NRSA to impose and issue administrative sanctions on institutions that are failing to work to prevent road accidents. For instance, the Authority is now able to keep a closer eye on the standards being enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA). “If they are not of standard, this time the NRSA has the legal framework to check the DVLA,” Atuahene added.
The dangerous road safety situation in Ghana with very high accident and death rate with loss of property and capital of individuals and businesses operating in the country made it very costly to do business in Ghana. It is estimated that road traffic accidents in Ghana have killed 46,284 between 1991 and 2018. Data from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service show that on average 1,714 are people killed each year on our roads.
This compelled the joint advocacy action by the Ghana Bar Association, Passengers Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Engineers and Consumer Protection Agency. “The rate at which road accidents was occurring was disheartening and very sad to see young and energetic people who could have contributed immensely to the welfare of their families and the development of the nation lose their lives through road accidents” Atuahene lamented.’’
The advocacy activities, which started in 2011 and ended in 2015, were funded by the BUSAC Fund and its development partners DANIDA, EU and USAID.
The coalition expressed profound gratitude to the BUSAC Fund for believing in them when others thought it was not going to work. “We are grateful to BUSAC Fund for the support and believing in our course when others didn’t”, said Atuahene.