Roles were reversed as school children from the Thomas Clegg Cluster of Schools in Kaneshie and Community 8, No 3 & 4 Primary Schools in Tema led road safety training sessions for commercial drivers in Accra and Tema, as part of the Kids Road Safety Panel (KRSP) programme.
The road safety education programme, run by AMEND Ghana, a non governmental organisation focused on road safety, was executed in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC).
The KRSP program aims to increase drivers’ awareness of road traffic risks around schools, and children’s knowledge of road safety by empowering them to speak up about road safety issues in their communities. AMEND introduced the KRSP programme in Ghana through a 2021 pilot session, following its successful development and deployment in Mozambique and Tanzania. The pilot project is aimed at determining how the programme can be scaled up and used as an educational tool for school children, drivers and other road users in Ghana.
Selected from two high risk schools in the Greater Accra Region, 10 students from each school were selected and trained to constitute the KRSP. They were trained to lead drivers through tailor made, insightful road safety education sessions, which were designed to be fun and engaging.
Altogether, the Ghana leg of the programme saw 1,022 students (aged 9-14 years) receive road safety education, 20 students trained specifically to act as road safety ambassadors and trainers, 43 drivers educated during the programme as well as 35,693 people on Facebook and 4,244 people on Instagram reached through a targeted social media campaign.
At the end of the programme, the 20 trained children were awarded certificates as road safety ambassadors who would share their knowledge with their parents, family and friends to help reduce road crashes, and especially accidents involving pedestrians. The drivers that participated in the KRSP sessions also pledged their commitment to being less reckless and more circumspect in their application of road safety practices.
Over the years, road traffic accidents have constituted a major public health and development issue in Ghana, reportedly being among the top 10 causes of deaths and draining a significant portion of the country’s gross domestic product annually. According to some reports, there were up to 8 deaths and 43 injuries recorded daily on Ghana’s roads. Though no clear statistics are readily available, school children are often heavily affected by the high spate of accidents, through injuries and fatalities.