High-risk commercial drivers and motorcyclists in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Eastern regions have been selected to undergo a refresher defensive driving training course.
The course, to benefit over 1,000 drivers and cyclists, is being organised by the Oil Marketing Company, Vivo Energy Ghana, and its partners.
It forms part of Vivo Energy’s annual road safety campaign dubbed, “Stop, Think & Drive”, of which this year’s edition was launched last Wednesday.
The main objective of the campaign, which is held in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), is to build the capacity of motorists to improve road user behaviour and reduce the risks of involvement in road accidents.
As part of the campaign, participants would be equipped with basic first aid skills in administering medical care to passengers in case of emergencies by a certified medical agency.
After the training, the beneficiaries will be monitored and evaluated to assess the impact made over a period with the help of station masters and driver unions.
This year’s launch brought together various stakeholders in road management, including the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and transport unions, among others.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director (MD) of the company, Kader Maiga, said it was committed to contributing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 3.6 of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2030 by supporting the government and its agencies to curb the menace.
He stated that the campaign would not only raise awareness but would also ignite a behaviour change and create a culture of safe driving, serving as a powerful reminder for all road users to pause, consider the consequences and make responsible decisions behind the wheel.
“Our mission is simple: to reduce the number of road accidents, save lives and protect our communities.
“We believe that achieving this goal requires a comprehensive approach, involving education, enforcement and cooperation from all stakeholders, including you,” the speech, read by the company’s Supply and Distribution Manager, Reindolf Domey, said.
The acting Director-General of the NSRA, David Osafo Adonteng, mentioned that the provisional data available at the MTTD indicated that as of August 31 this year, 9,300 crashes resulting in 10,367 injuries and 1,433 deaths had been recorded.
However, he stated that compared to the same period last year, some significant gains had been made in terms of reductions by 7.55 per cent, 0.47 per cent (marginal) and 11.27 per cent for crashes, injuries and deaths respectively.
“Much as we deem it encouraging and motivating once a reduction is achieved, we are still not happy considering that a death is one too many.
Let us recognise the fact that there is a problem on our roads,” Mr Adonteng added.
The Regional MTTD Commander, Superintendent George Appiah, urged religious and traditional leaders to join the national campaign in advocating a change in road user behaviour to stifle the incidence of road accidents in the nation.
He explained that due to the deeply religious and traditional nature of most citizens within the country, the words of such people “carried weight and would go far” and, therefore, individuals were likely to pay more attention and listen to them.