Online, Ghana Web, April 26, 2023
Key road safety stakeholders have joined the advocacy, led by CUTS International, Accra to support government efforts, through the Ministry of Transport to revise the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683), particularly, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels to reduce the 10% crashes caused by drink driving in the country.
At a stakeholder engagement organized by CUTS International, Accra in partnership with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), in Accra, the West African Regional Director for CUTS International, Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako disclosed that, key road safety stakeholders including Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Tipper-truck Drivers Association, National Motor Riders Association, Ghana Accidents Victims Support Association, the Media, CSOs Platform on Road Safety, Journalist Platform on Road Safety, among others are supporting this advocacy campaign.
He explained that drink driving is a major cause of road crashes in the country causing about 10% of total crashes and evidence has shown that the risk of a fatal crash occurring under the influence of alcohol increases significantly at 0.08 mg/ml BAC level and above.
“At this level, all drivers are said to be impaired regarding driving performance. As such, most countries across the globe have revised their BAC limit from 0.08 mg/ml to 0.05 mg/ml to conform with WHO standards, hence, the campaign” he explained.
Mr Adomako explained that the behavioral consequences associated with alcohol intoxication included impaired driving leading to road crashes, acts of aggression and violence towards self and others.
“Being aware that the government, through the Ministry of Transport (MOT), has started the process of revising the blood alcohol content limit from the current 0.008 mg/ml to 0.005 mg/ml as a way of reducing accidents on the road occasioned by drunk driving and conform with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, we support the initiative” he added.
Touching on the current state of Road safety in Ghana, Ag. Director General, National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Ing. David Adonteng revealed that measures and campaigns embarked on by the Authority is yielding positive results as the current statistics indicate that crashes in the first quarter of the year has reduced by 20% as compared to same period last year.
He further opined that the legal instrument (LI) to empower the operations of the NRSA has been passed and soon his outfit will embark on rigorous nationwide enforcement exercises.
“Parliament has approved and passed our LI which gives us the power to arrest and prosecute road recalcitrant drivers and users who breach traffic laws. We are coming for drivers who abandon their broken-down vehicles on the shoulders of the road for months and years.
On his path, the Communication and Programmes lead for CUTS, Mr Shadrack Nii Yarboi Yartey urged all stakeholders including drivers’ union, private transport operators, motorist, civil society organization, Parliament to support the BAC amendment process.
He further called on all road users to be disciplined and adhere to road safety regulations to stay alive and reduce road crashes.
CUTS with support from the National Road Safety Partnership is advocating for the revision of Ghana’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level from 0.08mg/ml to 0.05mg/ml.