The Ghana Driver & Road Safety (GDRS) Foundation this week unveiled a digital road safety platform, Drifan, aimed to help reduce the menace of road accidents on Ghana’s roads.
Drifan is a social media-like platform with which road users can capture and share live alerts of road hazards anywhere in the country.
Users can share images of broken-down vehicles at dangerous spots, major road defects, non-functioning traffic signals, and other hazards which could lead to crashes.
“Drifan gives you the power to save lives by posting road alerts which can serve as a warning to community road users and prevent road traffic crashes,” a statement on the web-based platform reads.
The platform was developed with the support of the National Road Safety Authority and Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Ghana.
The case for Drifan
Road accidents are a major public safety and economic issue in Ghana.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), road injury is among the top 10 causes of death in the West African country. Another report suggests that about $230 million is spent annually on emergency and trauma care caused by motor accidents alone.
Between January 1 and July 31 this year, the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service recorded almost 10,000 road crashes with an equivalent number of people either killed or injured in those incidents.
The causes of road accidents are widespread, ranging from bad road conditions to drivers’ conduct and the condition of vehicles on the roads.
However, there’s a sense that timely road safety education and accurate traffic information could help prevent a significant amount of accidents.
The Drifan platform also provides road safety tips and education via videos to drivers and other road users, delivered in English and some local languages. Drivers that complete the quizzes are rewarded with prizes.
At the launch event, Freda Frimpong, the Director of Projects and Partnerships at the GDRS Foundation, noted that Drifan is a work in progress and will see many additional functionalities over time.