Accra, Oct. 4, GNA – Commercial drivers would soon be required to provide proof of the training they had acquired from the National Drivers Academy prior to a renewal or upgrade of their licenses.
The move is to offer them the opportunity to improve their safety culture and to help build their capacity to respond to the ever-changing risk profiles within the road environment.
Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur said in a speech read on his behalf on Thursday at the Third National Road Safety Awards for 2011 which was organised by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) in Accra.
The awards were aimed principally to recognise transport unions that had introduced and implemented internal control systems to deliver quality assurance to the traveling public as well as to honour journalists and media houses that had contributed towards road safety awareness.
Mr Amissah-Arthur said transport unions and organisations would from next year be registered and given renewable licences as a measure to deliver quality assurance.
“Government takes the view that the commercial driver populations need to progressively improve their knowledge and perceptions about road safety,” he said.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Transport, said Government was consistently improving infrastructure, legislation and funding, which would demand improved commitment from the road safety implementing agencies within the framework of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) III and the National Road Safety Action Plans (NRSAP).
He noted that the NRSS III was the national blueprint motivated by data and best practices to deliver a significant improvement in a road safety situation.
Mr Noble Appiah, Executive Director of the NRSC expressed the need for passion and commitment to road safety issues adding, “It is not enough for us to have a National Policy for Safety, 10- year National Road Safety Strategy, Action Plans, Revised Road Traffic Regulations and Institutions dedicated to road safety.”
He called on road safety agencies to be innovative and creative to mobilise funds needed to implement the NRSS III.
Mr Appiah said the Commission considered the media as a critical stakeholder for accountability purposes, adding that the award was targeted at individual journalists who had distinguished themselves with reports that sought to probe the commitment of road safety implementing agencies to the NRSAP.
The Multimedia Group Company Limited, TV3, TV Africa, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Oman FM, Happy FM, Unique FM, Channel R, Daily Graphic, Daily Guide, the Finder newspaper and personalities like Mr Ken Kuranchi and Ben Ephson, all veteran media practitioners, were given media recognition awards for their contributions towards road safety issues.
Mr Geoffrey Buta of Ghanaian Times was awarded the 2011 Best Road Safety Reporter for the print category whilst Ms Francisca Forson of Joy FM was considered the Best Road Safety Reporter for the radio category.
Madam Mavis O. Yeboah of GTV won the Television category.
They each received a laptop computer, mobile phone and assorted items from Cowbell, worth GH¢4,000.
Great Imperial Transport Limited won the Commercial Passenger Transport Organisation for the year. The Progressive Transport Association was the runner up and Intercity STC was the second runner up.
They each received items worth GH¢8,000.