Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Sekyere East Mavis Nkansah Boadu is demanding a strict enforcement of Road Traffic Regulations to end carnage on the roads.
She said although the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) deserves commendation for taking measures to enforce road traffic laws, they need to do more.
In a statement delivered on the floor of parliament, the MP called for a strong collaboration between the National Road Safety Commission and the Ministry of Roads and Highways to make the roads safer.
Nkansah Boadu told the House: “Crashes and collisions are no respecters of persons; hence, it will take collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to keep our roads safe.”
Below is the full statement delivered on the floor.
THE NEED TO ENFORCE ROAD TRAFFIC AND MOTOR REGULATIONS
Mr. Speaker, Thank you for the opportunity to make this statement.
Every Vehicle owner needs to be well aware of the local regulations set for road users which ensure they drive with due care and attention. There are laws set out for pedestrians to ensure their safety. Motorists should be aware of these laws, road traffic regulations and the sanctions thereof.
However, in the last few years, some issues of concern have been raised on our roads. They include; the littering of our roads, broken down vehicles which are left to be towed, wrongful parking, pedestrian’s refusal to use footbridges and lawlessness of some motorcycle riders.
With regards to the issue of footbridges, this country invests millions of cedis solicited both externally and internally to construct footbridges which are built over dual carriageways and multiple lane roads. Currently, there are many footbridges constructed in Accra, Kumasi, and other parts of the country that are not utilized by pedestrians.
This situation is not one that requires the enactment of a new law because such legislation exists and reference is made to the Road Traffic Act, 2004(Act 683), the Road Traffic Offences Regulation 1974(LI 952), and the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, LI 2180.
Section 154 (3) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, provides that, “Pedestrians who fail to use footbridges or an underpass where one is provided commits an offence”.
Furthermore, “persons who engage in jaywalking are liable to summary conviction or a term of imprisonment for not more than seven days or both.”
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) is commended for taking measures to enforce section 154(3) but they are implored to do more.
The other issue relates to the indiscipline and lawlessness of motor riders popularly referred to as “Okada” drivers who continue to flout sections 11 and 14 of the Road Traffic Act. The use of motorcycles for commercial purposes is dangerous and the above-listed laws prohibit it.
Legislative Instrument LI 2180 of 2012, under Section 128 states that “motorcycles for commercial purposes are prohibited, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is also required by law not to register these motorcycles for commercial use|”
The activities of “Okada” drivers result in the indiscriminate violation of motor laws in the country. Mr speaker, the operations of these “Okada” drivers are adversely affecting the nation in diverse ways; no tax obligations, the use of illegal routes and other anti-social behaviors .
I, therefore, propose that the laws prohibiting the “Okada” drivers from operating be reviewed for possible amendment. This will ensure we generate the needed benefits from their operations.
Furthermore, forming a Union that will regulate their activities on the roads to ensure their safe operations could be the optimal choice OR establishing a special task force that will prohibit their activities entirely.
Sensitization has proven to work over the years in Ghana. The popular sanitation campaign with the catchphrase “hohoro wonsa fa samina y3” created awareness and improved the health of many citizens. There should be sensitization of the public, through an entertaining jingle or commercial to instill in them the value of life and the need to use footbridges. Footbridges are not just for infrastructural beauty but the proper use of it ensures safety on the roads and protects lives.
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), together with the Ministry of Roads and Highways are encouraged to ensure strict enforcement of road laws and seek the support of the public to report any reckless conduct of drivers or pedestrians on the roads.
Crashes and collisions are no respecters of persons; hence, it will take collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to keep our roads safe.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity.