The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in partnership with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (AMA-BIGRS), launched a Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 in Accra last Tuesday to enhance the safety of pedestrians and motorists in the metropolis.
Supported by SSATP-Africa, a transport policy programme, the strategy focuses on implementing strategies such as the redesigning of some roads with a high record of car crashes and fatalities to create safe mobility on the roads.
It will also focus on addressing pedestrian safety at authorised crossings and junctions, manage public street spaces and ensure the safety of children and persons with disability.
The 12-year plan will serve as a guideline for engaging stakeholders to improve pedestrian safety and awareness.
Safety on road
The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Adjei Sowah, said in an interview after the launch, that findings from a research conducted by the assembly indicated that 13,059 road crashes occurred in the Accra Metropolitan Area between 2011 and 2015.
Mr Sowah said the highest number of crashes during the period was recorded in 2015 with 2,979 crashes. This represents a 40.6 per cent increase over the number recorded in 2014.
“It is due to these high numbers that the assembly is collaborating with organisations to build a safe city free from road traffic deaths or serious injuries.
He added that the assembly had also in the interim set targets which included a less than 125 fatalities per annum, less than six fatalities per 100,000 population, less than 375 serious injuries per annum and less than 350 pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries per annum.
“Road crashes are the leading cause of deaths and serious injuries among individuals in the prime working ages of 15 to 29 years. Also the per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) could be increased from an estimated seven per cent to 22 per cent if road deaths and injuries were halved,” he added.
However, “research shows that the bulk of the serious road trauma is the result of ordinary people making simple errors and no amount of individual information, education and training can be expected to do this,” the Chief Executive of the AMA explained.
“We also want to have our road networks designed in a way that can accommodate all road users, ensuring that they are safe on the road,” he added.
The Deputy Director of the Vehicle Inspection Division of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Alhaji Iddrisu Huseini, expressed the commitment to work with the AMA to ensure the implementation of the strategy.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACOP), Mr Anderson Fosu Akah, for his part, said the MTTD was doing its best in arresting drivers with rickety vehicles, while urging pedestrians to use footbridges to avoid being knocked down.