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Periodic vehicle maintenance is essential to road safety and it impacts positively in reducing road accidents, a former Board Member of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has said.
Mr Francis Johnny Amegayibor said besides defensive driving, which was required for all drivers, one of the best ways to prevent road crashes was to carry out regular maintenance of vehicles to prevent intermittent breakdown, malfunction or system failure, while in motion.
Mr Amegayibor, who is also a former Treasurer of the Ghana Automobile Distribution Association (GADA), was speaking at the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency and the Tema MTTD Road Safety Campaign platform.
He said the prevention of road crashes was a shared responsibility and while one might be on top of your car repairs and maintenance, it was impossible to have control over how other drivers maintained their vehicle or how safely they drove.
Thus, he said, it was significant for drivers to ensure that their vehicles were serviced properly when due, adding that, a well-maintained car was crucial to prevent breakdowns that could lead to fatal road crashes.
“The car maintenance culture in this country is very bad,” he emphasised, and explained that the negligence of drivers with regards to maintenance of vehicles was a worrying phenomenon and had been one of the major causes of several accidents in the country”.
He cited the instance of brakes, an important vehicle system, which could be used to stop cars before collision depending on the vehicle type, saying it was key to ensure periodic maintenance including, monitoring brake warnings lights on the dashboard, leaking brake fluid, and low brake pedal resistance among others.
Mr Amegayibor who is a private businessman said, the failure to maintain vehicle tires could cause blowout and result in the loss of vehicle control, leading to car accidents.
He further explained that over-inflated tires, under-inflated tires and worn-out tires had resulted in the fatalities recorded over the years.
He, therefore, advised drivers to know the Pound Per Square Inch (PSI) – a sticker found inside the driver’s door – and ensure that vulgarizers, whose services they engaged, inflate their vehicles with the needed levels of air pressure.
According to Mr Amegayibor, also a former General Manager of Silver Star Auto Limited, the overinflated tires put much pressure on the inside of the tire, while underinflated tires caused too much of the tire to come in contact with the road, increasing friction and risk of wear and tear; and friction could rip a hole in the tire.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, said the media was an important component of the national road safety campaign and part of a broader effort to increase public awareness of road safety laws and persuade the public to abide by them.
He said as part of the campaign, key stakeholders both individuals and institutions would be given the opportunity to send their road safety messages to their staff, followers and the public to create the needed awareness.
Mr Ameyibor noted that the GNA-Tema and MTTD Road Safety Project sought to create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need to be cautious on the road as users.
It also sought to educate all road users on their responsibilities and sensitize drivers on the tenets of road safety regulations, rules and laws.