had enough power to ensure that the right thing was done.
I think the NRSC must be given similar powers to ensure that those who have been given the mandate to ensure compliance on our road safety do so, and then when they fail to do so, they can then question them. Mr. Speaker, I am talking of a situation where the NRSC has power to either question or even send to court the police, for example, for allowing a vehicle that is obviously overloaded to come from, say, Afram Plains, through all its checkpoints into Accra.
The NRSC itself cannot go and arrest, but it will have the power to question the police authorities as to why they failed to do their duty. In the same way, if a rickety vehicle is found with a valid road worthy certificate from the DVLA, the NRSC can take it on legally to find out how they could license such a vehicle when everybody knows or when it is proven that it is not road worthy.
Mr. Speaker, again it should have power to stop construction work or even to review a design for a highway or urban road, if it feels that safety concerns have not been addressed. Mr. Speaker, until we give this power to the NRSC, they will remain a toothless bulldog. Safety must be a major concern, and we should all give power to the NRSC; let them have enough power to question the police when they fail to do their duty, to question the DVLA when they fail to do their duty, to question the road agencies when their designs and construction methods pose danger and threat on road.
Mr. Speaker, recently on my way
from Asamankese I saw that there was a contract that had been given for the construction of a drain along the highway,
and the contractor apart from having excavated and heaped materials on the road side, has also heaped his gravels and chippings on the roadside, reducing the road by more than two-thirds. If proper care had been taken this contractor could have been instructed to batch the concrete somewhere and use a dumper or some other means to carry the concrete instead of blocking the road and making it very unsafe for passengers.
Mr. Speaker, for example, on the road to Kumasi, you can see a vehicle that has been parked for months because you can see election posters still on the car. Some people still use the road as workshops so that when a vehicle breaks down, they can take as long as a month to remove a gearbox, to remove an engine, block the road with a spare tyre, narrow the road and cause all kinds of inconvenience to passers-by.
Sometimes, when you see a parked articulated vehicle, your heart jumps out, because you know that in the next minute or next hour, a vehicle which is overspeeding or which does not know might run into it. And true to it, before you come back, you will see a broken glass there, or something to show that an accident has occurred. These are issues of concern, and the NRSC must be given the power, if they present anything to this Parliament to be able to enforce safety and make sure that our roads are safe.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the
Dr. Kwame Ampofo (NDC -- South
Dayi): Mr. Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the Statement made by my hon. Colleague. I do so because I find the Statement to be very important and relevant to the current carnage on our roads. Before I make my contribution I want to state that the maker of the
Statement did not make a Statement on road accidents in general.
But he made a specific connection between road accidents and mobile phone usage. Indeed, in his Statement, he rightly identified the various causes of road accidents, some of which he rightly stated as over-speeding, due to maybe the poor state of the road themselves, and the engineering of the road. He even attributed some to the mechanical breakdown of the vehicles themselves, drunkenness, et cetera. And then he added that another important cause of the road accident is the usage of mobile phone whilst driving, and then he zoomed onto this.
So when we a re mak ing our contributions, it is important to limit ourselves to this important linkage. The correlation, I do not know if some statistical analysis has been done on this, but if it has been done, I will not be surprised to find a positive correlation between the number of accidents that happened linked with phone usage. So I would likely to specifically zoom in on this aspect because it is a common sight. It is an area where accidents can be avoided if the right legislation is passed against the usage of mobile phones because this type of legislation exist in many countries.
Driving is such an activity that requires almost all the senses of the human anatomy. You need your sense of sight; you need your sense of hearing, even touch. In addition to that, you need your presence of mind for your concentration, you need to have good judgment, and you need to have all your limbs -- the two legs and the two hands. So if you are to engage in another important activity such as communication where you use one hand to hold a mobile phone --
I am aware that these days, technology has made it such that you can speak on the phone without using your hand but your concentration is already divided, your hearing has been partly impaired because you are listening to somebody else, and this is a major distraction on the road. Many cars have run off the road before me; I have seen it happen myself. It has happened to me when I lost concentration and found out that yes, the mobile phone can, and is actually a major distracter to drivers' concentration.
Mr. Speaker, having said this, I will ask,
why is it that we are not able to control this kind of menace on the road when it is completely controllable? I would like to give two examples. When you go to any bank, there is a sign there that you cannot use your mobile phones, another area where there are signs that you cannot use your mobile phones are the filling stations. But in these two situations, you will find out that there is compliance in one situation, that is in the banks. But there is non-compliance at the filling stations, these are my observations.
The reason is that in the banks the security people are there to tell you to stop. Only yesterday I was in the bank, and a gentleman was quietly talking on the phone. The security man spotted him, went to him, tapped him on the shoulder and told him to get out or stop using the phone. He complied, he obliged. At the filling stations I see people talking when they are being dispensed with fuel.
That is another dangerous thing because it can cause electro-static sparks and fires can emanate out of simply using your mobile phone at the filling station. But because of lack of knowledge or understanding of the process or because of lack of enforcement, you would find