Accra, Ghana//-AMEND Ghana, an NGO that aims at improving road safety among children in the country and across Africa in collaboration with TotalEnergies Foundation has taken road safety campaign to the next level, following the training of 84 motorcycle riders.
Organizations which benefited from the intensive motorcycle riders training programme are-Republic Bank, Ghana Health Service, Electricity Company of Ghana, Judiciary Service, GIMPA, GCB, Prudential Bank, among others.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Accra, the Ghana Country Manager for AMEND, Ing. Juliet Adu, said the training provided practical lessons aimed at improving skills which riders are known to lack as well as addressing common behavioural mistakes.
The training exercises, according to her included the proper use of junctions and roundabouts, safe overtaking and how to stop quickly in an emergency, for instance if a school child steps onto the road in front of the motorcycle.
The training programme is based on the UK’s Compulsory Basic Training and has both theoretical classroom and practical elements.
Ing, Adu said: “Driver behaviour has been identified to contribute immensely to road traffic crashes. And indeed, research has shown that training is critical for safe motorcycle riding.
It is therefore our hope and belief that having benefited from this wonderful training opportunity, the riding behaviour of these 84 motorcycle riders will change and they will be good ambassadors of road safety whenever they find themselves”.
Ing, Adu noted that the programme being the first of its kind in Ghana was part of a five-year country programme supported by the TotalEnergies Foundation.
The motorcycle training programme has already been implemented in Tanzania, Togo and Senegal, while plans are underway to extend it to Cameroon, Mozambique, Mauritania and Madagascar next year.
Harrowing road accident data
Over the past nearly two years, more than 1,000 lives have sadly been lost in Ghana as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even sadder, is the number of deaths that have been recorded this year alone as a result of road traffic crashes- this is almost double the number of COVID-19 related deaths in two years, she indicated.
Ing, Adu added: “Statistics show that motorcycle related fatalities in Ghana have increased significantly over the last decade. In Accra for instance, 28% of road crash fatalities in 2020 were motorcycle riders while vehicle occupants accounted for 15%”.
The newly trained motorcycle riders
What has been done so far?
Besides the motorcycle training programme, AMEND has researched issues around motorcycle taxis, undertaking studies and projects focused on motorcycles in DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, since 2013.
“In 2019, we produced a motorcycle instructor’s training manual as part of a project funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.
We subsequently worked with several experienced motorcycle trainers to develop a motorcycle training programme specifically for the African context”, Ing, Adu said.
DSP Joseph Appiah who is in-charge of Motorcycle Riders at the Greater Accra Regional Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, advised the newly trained motorcycle riders to always ensure that they put on the right protective clothes before starting their journeys.
“You must always ensure that you have your goggles on to prevent dust and other particles from entering your eyes during your journey(s)”.
He also advised them to mandatorily pre-check their motorbikes before embarking on their riding activities.
“Before you begin your journey, you must know your road signs. Also, as road safety ambassadors, you must not break the rules of the road”, DSP Appiah further advised.
Emmanuel Adjonyor, a beneficiary of the motorcycle training programme on behalf of his colleagues expressed gratitude to AMEND, TotalEngergies Ghana and TotalEnergies Foundation for the wonderful and impactful programme.
At the end, all the 84 trained motorcycle riders received high-quality helmets and certificates.
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report