The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), Raphael Godlove Ahenu, has called on Group of Eight (G8) countries, the World Bank, African Development Bank, World Health Organisation, and other International Development Organisations to pay equal attention to road safety issues.

He accused the world leaders of neglecting road safety issues but treating climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic with all urgency.

According to him, some 1.4 million people die from road crashes globally, and most victims are the youth and people from developing countries.

‘‘Concerns about road traffic crashes must be the front burner of many countries like Ghana, where the increase in population, inadequate road infrastructure and ineffective safety policies are the main problems,’’ Mr Ahenu stated.

In an interview to launch a new road safety project at Sunyani in the Bono region, Mr Ahenu said the burden of road crashes in the world requires a conscientious and multi-sectorial approach.

World leaders urged to pay equal attention to road safety as they did with Covid-19
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Global Media Foundation – Raphael Godlove Ahenu

He argued that this could help reduce its occurrence and impacts whilst ensuring policies needed to strengthen and enforce road traffic regulations at all levels are active.

He said the Ghana Road Safety Initiative (GRSI) aims to strengthen the media and civil society’s voice to demand strong leadership for road safety through evidence-based advocacy and policy interventions.

Mr Ahenu added that the GRSI project would empower and strengthen the media and civil society to stimulate collaborative advocacy action and improve accountability measures to address road safety issues in Ghana.

‘‘The initiative will enhance the knowledge and skills and actions of 200 journalists and 400 CSOs or NGOs across Ghana to plan and execute successful campaigns that will communicate a robust road safety message to help drive change in Ghana,’’ he explained.

He stressed efficient emergency systems and policies which support the care of victims could lessen the impacts of road traffic accidents.

The CEO noted, ‘‘aside from the mortality and morbidity associated with the road crashes, statistics have shown that Ghanaian households spend an average of US$ 1687.65 in direct and indirect costs on severe injuries associated with road crashes, while many suffer considerable degrees of psychological distress’’.

He stated statistics from the National Road Safety Commission show that Ghana loses about 1.7 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year to road collisions, in addition to the loss of lives.

He added, ‘‘road traffic accidents accounted for 62% of deaths at the casualty unit of the emergency department at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra alone’’.

Mr Ahenu stressed road safety should be a concern to all stakeholders since both motorists and pedestrians are at risk of the hazards of road crashes.

‘‘With evidence-based interventions on what works best, the media civil society can help save lives and transform economic growth of the country, since road safety is critical to the socio-economic development of nations across the world,’’ he reiterated.

He noted it could be achieved with advocacy and sensitisation initiatives to influence decision-making and policy initiatives on road safety in Ghana.

‘‘There is also the need to mobilise and empower the media and civil society in Ghana to push state actors to take meaningful actions to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries to half by 2030.

That is why we have initiated Ghana Road Safety Initiative,’’ the CEO of GLOMEF said.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the media and civil society to work collectively to complement the government’s efforts at ensuring road safety in Ghana because they play a vital role in the growing worldwide movement to reduce the devastating effects of traffic injuries.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.