The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in partnership with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) has organized a training workshop on effective communication strategies for communication officers at the Motor Traffic a nd Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, AMA Metro guardsas well as officers of the AMA Metro Public Health Department.
The two day workshop sought to strengthen the communication skills of the officers to enable them communicate effectively with the media. Speaking during the training sessions, the Asian Pacific Program Manager for Global Road Safety Partnership, Blaise Murphet, indicated that the media plays a vital role in the enforcement of road traffic regulations and laws, hence the need to sharpen their communication skills to effectively engage the media.
He noted, that the journalists’ reportage on road safety related issues are usually reactive and not proactive. This he attributed to the verity that the interest of the journalist mostly lie in reports on road crashes, victim stories and sometimes political actions and inactions.
He admonished beneficiaries and journalists to be proactive in their communication efforts to help make our roads safer and urged them to discharge their duties with the urgency and dignity it deserves. He pointed out that effective road safety communication can only help make our roads safe if it receives the combined efforts of strong road safety regulations and effective enforcement.
The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, DSP ShiellaAbayie-Buckman urged journalists to take time to check with the police anytime they receive information from the public concerning individual policemen or the police service. This the DSP believed, would help prevent the airing or publishing of wrong information which often dents the image of the police force.
On the issue of police communication, she explained that the police MTTD is already engaging road users in one on one sensitization on the risk factors identified by BIGRS. She outlined that the police service is also employing the use of flyers and signages to educate road users.
Participants appealed for logistical aid to facilitate the effectiveness of their jobs while ensuring that roads in the city of Accra are made safe for all to ‘live in and love it’.