The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) last Thursday launched the second edition of the Ghana Driver and Road Safety Awards (GDRSA) in Accra.
The awards scheme which is on the theme, “Rewarding Driving Excellence, Promoting Road Safety”, was birthed to bring respect to the driving profession and also encourage commercial drivers to drive safely as a means to reducing accidents on the country’s roads.
According to the NRSC, events leading up to the awards will take place in November this year to coincide with the World Road Safety Day celebrations which will be a contest between commercial drivers in Accra and Kumasi.
The awards scheme is supported by the Ghana Cement, Goil Ghana, enterprise Group and Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL).
Categories up for grabs are “Best Driver-Taxi”, “Best Driver-Trotro”, Best Driver-Haulage”, “Best Driver-Intercity”, “Best Driver Intra-city” and Best Female Driver.” The overall winner will receive a Suzuki salon car.
To participate in the awards, a commercial driver, qualified to partake in the contest, will have to pick a nomination form from the GDRSA at no cost and a final 10 selected among the various lorry stations in the two regions to contest in the competition.
According to the Director of Partnership for GDRSA, Ms Freda Frimpong, having been alarmed by the rate of road accidents in the country, the GDRSA came up with the initiative to reward drivers who drove safely.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, for his part, commended the organisers for their efforts and also reiterated government’s commitment to put measures in place to reduce road accidents in the country.
Among the measures, he said, included enforcement of provisions in the NRSC Act, particularly that which enjoined commercial drivers to undergo training once every year to upgrade their driving skills.
Regular training, he said, was essential to the driving profession and it was incumbent on drivers to acquire training in order for them to always stay abreast of the changing features in modern vehicle technology.
“The ministry is taking this matter seriously to the extent that the NRSC and the police will have discussions on it because it’s part of the road safety regulations 21(80)”, he said, during the launch of the GDRSA held in Accra last Thursday.
Additionally, he said, the ministry would ensure that all long distance travelling vehicles were fitted with speed limiters, two exit doors for easy escape in the event of an emergency as well as “passenger manifest” to capture in full the details of all the passengers on board.
The Executive Director of the NRSC, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, commended the organisers of the award scheme for coming out with such a programme targeted at engendering safe driving in the country.
“Our lives are literally in the hands of these drivers and that is why we are excited to be part of this programme,” she said.
The Board Chairman of the NRSC, Rev. Isamaila Awudu, said the initiative was a laudable one which showed the seriousness that the GDRSA attached to promoting safety on the country’s roads.