The Ghana Road Safety Authority (GRSA) believes it will be in a better position to address some of the major road safety issues in the country if the Legislative Instrument granting it the power to met out sanctions and play an authoritative role within the country’s transport sector is passed.
According to the Authority, although there are many actions it has been mandated to undertake, it complained that the law and implementation frameworks are yet to be put in place.
The Head of Regulation, Inspection and Compliance, Kwame Atuahene who appeared on Citi TV‘s Point of View show on Wednesday said the authority is concerned that it does not have the necessary legal backing to take certain actions geared toward reducing road crashes in the country.
“With the implementation of this law, if you read it carefully, there are a number of things that are required to be done by an agency… We are that agency and with that power, we will enforce it with all intents…[Getting the LI passed] will make a great deal of impact,” he said.
There are growing concerns about the recent spate of road crashes, some of which have resulted in the death of passengers.
While some have attributed the unfortunate development to indiscipline on the part of drivers, others believe it is due to the lack of enforcement of road safety regulations.
Some of the major ills that have been brought to the fore in terms of road safety issues in Ghana have included the lack of streetlights and speeding by drivers.
But according to Mr. Atuahene, consideration has already been given to tackling such issues.
He said: “The police for instance have been speaking to automation projects which include the deployment of speed cameras… In the arrangements that are to be introduced, we are requiring that public sector vehicles be installed with speed limiters which will control your speed to levels that are defined by law and also ensure that other private drivers are law-abiding.”
He said the NRSA is hoping that the L.I. giving it the power to act will be passed when Parliament resumes sitting, adding that the Authority will be able to sanction agencies that fail in the mandate in a way that jeopardises the safety of roads in the country.
“Under the new mandate, the law requires that we sanction institutions for their irresponsibility especially where their work is standard-driven… There is an easy entry and exit [in the transport sector]. There is no public agency that takes control or interest in what these guys do. So if someone has money to buy something they decide what to do and get into the space. DVLA has a very limited responsibility. Under this new arrangement, a transport operator will be required to apply for a transport operating license which will be issued based on conditions and if you fail to adhere to these conditions, it will be suspended.”
Mr. Atuahene further called for the support of media houses and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to ensure road safety in the country.