The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Tuesday, launched the sixth edition of its National Road Safety Awards (NRSA) slated for November 2017.

The Commission called for nominations and entries for prospective awardees from Transport Operators, Driver Unions, and the media, which were expected to be submitted between today, August 15, 2017 to September 30, 2017.

It further appealed to corporate Ghana to support the NRSC in cash and in kind to make the year’s event a success.

Addressing the media launch in Accra, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, the Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission, said the event which was instituted in 2010, under the Ministry of Transport, was to promote better road safety practices among Commercial Transport Operator and Unions in both passenger and haulage services, and subsequently in 2011, acknowledged the media for its contribution.

She said “compliance with safety standards has been observed as low particularly with passenger and freight operators and with the award, we expect to develop a new sub-culture that prioritises the safety of the road user”.

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Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said this year’s edition, had some variations, as there would be four competitive transport-related categories and a similar number for the media, and would only be held at the national level, compared to previously where it was held on Regional basis.

She mentioned the categories as the: Best Road Safety-Oriented Commercial Road Transport Operator of the Year; Best Road Safety-Oriented Commercial Road Transport Driver of the Year; Best Road Safety-Oriented Solid Haulage Transport Operator of the Year and; Best Road Safety-Oriented Liquid Haulage Transport Operator of the Year.

She explained that the selection for these four categories, would be based on the operational, driver and vehicle standards of each of the nominees.

The event would also acknowledge the contribution of journalists whose publications and works had impacted road safety improvement in Ghana in the year under review, with the award categories being for the: Best Road Safety Media Reporters of the Year respectively for the Print, Radio, Television, and in Photography.

“We wish to invite journalists to compete for the Print, Radio, Television and Photography categories with road safety stories published in local or international media between August 15th, 2016 and August 30th 2017”, she said.

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The NRSC Boss said apart from the competitive categories, the Search Committee of the Commission, had been tasked to review the exploits of some individuals and Corporate citizens for some Meritorious Honour awards, to serve as an incentive to boost their interest to support road safety initiatives.

The Committee, she said, would also identify a Goodwill Road Safety Ambassador from among Showbiz, Sports and Political personalities, who would help support the course through advocacy, and would be outdoored during the Awards event.

Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said road traffic crashes were responsible for an average of 2,000 deaths each year, a situation which was far more than the annual deaths recorded through crimes, with nearly 33 per cent of them being passenger and cargo vehicle related, and almost 60 per cent of the victims being in the productive bracket of 18 to 55 years.

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She said the situation impacted negatively on the national economy, affected tourism, the national image, stretches health infrastructure, health bill and estimated to cost about 1.6 per cent of Ghana’s annual Gross Domestic Product.

She said the NRSC was passionate about the attainment of the national target of reducing casualty levels by 50 per cent by the year 2020, saying the risk to deaths and injuries in the road traffic environment was real, and required the collective concerted efforts of all stakeholders to minimise the unsafe factors.

She said with the awards, the NRSC expected all transport operators to mainstream safety policies and standards in their operations, for a reward or recognition.

Mr Gabriel Adu Sarpong, the Planning Officer and Coordinator of the 2017 National Road Safety Awards, said the national award Committee would vet the nominations from the various transport operators in the regions, follow up to observe their operations over a period amidst other tests to come out with a clear winner.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh