Mr Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has urged journalists to collaborate with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to intensify public education to help reduce fatalities on the country’s roads.
Journalists and other media practitioners should also practice comprehensive Journalism, by ensuring that politicians and policy makers live up to their promises concerning good road infrastructure, repairing of damaged roads and fixing of traffic lights as well as road traffic signs at all times.
Dr. Monney was speaking at the NRSA’s engagement with a section of Journalists from various media houses in Kumasi, on how to ensure safety on the country’s roads.
It was also to identify how best the media could advocate for safety on the roads, as well as the role the media could play in the management of road, crashes in the country.
It formed part of NRSA’s ‘Arrive Alive’ campaign project, which aimed at ensuring zero accidents on the country’s roads.
Mr Monney urged Journalists to focus more on this campaign and not relegate critical issues like road safety to the background.
He said the media must make it a policy to move away from curative journalism to preventive journalism as far as road safety was concerned.
The GJA President pointed out that, the incredible high rates of road accidents were destroying the image of the country and it was about time the country took road safety seriously.
He said the association would institute award scheme for journalists who reported on road safety.
Madam May Obiri Yeboah, Director-General, NRSA, said frequent carnages on the country’s roads should be seen as a public health issue which required the collective responsibility of all.
She said the media has the responsibility to carry public education to sensitize the people to be aware of the situation to enable them to take the needed action to prevent road accidents.
Mr. Daniel Wuako, Deputy Director of Programs of the NRSA, mentioned indiscipline on the roads, laxity and irresponsibility of key stakeholders as some of the main causes of road crushes.
The media he added must be well resourced to be empowered to do more road safety reporting.
Mr. Kwabena Kodua Atuahene, Head of Regulations, Inspection and Compliance at the NRSA, urged the media to investigate contractors to ensure that they had permits from NRSA to operate.
He said Transport Operators must also have driving schools and training facilities before being given license to operate.
The Media must assist the NRSA check on standards and investigate road crashes and ensure that transport Operators adhere to rules and regulations regarding road safety.