The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), has conferred on the Ya Naa, Abukari Mahama II, the Overlord of Dagbon, the “Goodwill Ambassador” for National Road Safety.
The honour, which was done by officials of the NRSA at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi, in the Northern Region, was in recognition of the Ya Naa’s selflessness in offering counsel to road users and commitment to improving road safety in the country.
The NRSA described the Ya-Naa as an eminent king, who has stabilized the peace in Dagbo and consistently reached out to the citizenry with messages on road safety everywhere he travelled throughout the country.
The Board Chairman of the NRSA, Rev. Ismaila Hamilston Awudu, said a road safety ambassador is prudent in the quest to reduce accidents, because road safety has been an attitudinal challenge, irrespective of the numerous call for responsible behaviour and respect for highway codes.
He expressed worry about the alarming rate of road accidents in the country and said about 6,844 road traffic crashes were reported for the first half of the year in June, which led to 1,252 deaths and 7,043 injuries.
“The idea behind the conferment of a Road Safety Goodwill Ambassador on our noble Ya-Naa Abukari is that, it is important to employ the voices and faces of nobility in influencing thoughts and attitudes, which will promote safer road use, leading to economic growth”, he said.
The Executive Director of the NRSA, Mrs. May Obiri Yeboah, said the Authority was working closely with other stakeholders, including the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to train about 13,000 drivers on accident prone roads.
This, she indicated would aid the ambassador’s efforts and curb vehicle crashes on highways, especially with the enforcement of laws from the police and other road safety institutions.
The Ya-Naa commended government, the NRSA, and other road governing bodies for their immense efforts towards ensuring the well-being of the citizenry.
He pledged his commitment and total support to campaign to promote road safety in its totality to reduce road accidents in the Northern Region and Ghana as a whole.
The Ya-Naa urged vehicle users to obtain drivers’ license, register their vehicles, drive vehicles with proper mirrors and embrace the use of crash helmets when riding motorcycles.
The NRSA is one of the agencies at the Road Transport Ministry, and has established and built strategic partnerships with the Ya-Naa to confer on him the Road Safety “Goodwill Ambassador” to encourage the King to advocate for safe road usage and other related issues.