AMA, police work to reduce road accidents

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, launching the road safety report in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, launching the road safety report in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is to intensify collaboration with the police to reduce road crashes in the metropolis.

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who made this known, said the AMA, in partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), had trained over 300 police personnel and donated policing items to the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) to aid enforcement.

Additionally, he said the assembly and the police had undertaken a speeding mass campaign and several mini-campaigns that saw the reduction of speed within the metropolis.

“We have also launched the road safety strategy and the pedestrians’ road safety action plan. These documents have guided the city’s road safety planning and implementation towards saving human lives,” he said.

Mr Sowah stated these at the launch of the 2020 Road Safety Annual Report prepared by the AMA in partnership with BIGRS last Wednesday in Accra.

Report

According to the report, a total of 1,744 road crashes were recorded in the Accra Metropolis in 2020 as against 1,703 crashes in 2019.

Similarly, reported road traffic deaths increased from 103 in 2019 to 136 in 2020 in the metropolis.

The data were outsourced from police crash reports and observational studies on road injury risk factors.

Drastic action

Mr Sowah said the recent Global Status Report on road safety by the World Health Organisation highlighted that the number of annual road deaths had reached 1.35 million.

He said the global estimates showed that about 3,700 road traffic deaths happened daily.

In addition, approximately 55, 000 to 137, 000 people suffered non-fatal injuries, with many suffering disabilities due to the severity of the injuries, Mr Sowah indicated.

Against that backdrop, Mr Sowah noted that it had become necessary for stakeholders to take drastic action to put measures in place to meet city, national and global targets set to save lives of roads.

He said the findings from the report should inform continuous interventions to reduce crash-related deaths and injuries in the city and guide activities of stakeholders in road safety to deliver on their mandate.

“I expect the contributions at the city level to augment national efforts to prioritise road safety. I hope the strategic actions taken by AMA to reduce road deaths and injuries will encourage stakeholders at the local and national level to continue supporting these efforts,” Mr Sowah said.

Presenting the report, the Road Injury Surveillance Coordinator for AMA- BIGRS, Mr Ebenezer K. Ahiable, noted that deaths per 100,000 rose from 4.9 in 2019 to 6.3 in 2020.

He said vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists made up 76 per cent of total deaths in 2019 and 85 per cent in 2020.

He said males accounted for more than 65 per cent of road traffic deaths and serious injuries in 2019 and 2020 while the highest proportion of deaths in both years was recorded among those aged 30 to 39 years.

From the report, Mr Ahiable noted that areas such as Kwashieman Intersection, La Paz Intersection, Apenkwa Interchange to Dimple Roundabout, North Dzorwulu Intersection, Abeka Junction and Neoplan Intersection were high-risk locations.

He said findings from the road injury risk factor observational studies showed a 47 prevalence of speeding in Accra in 2020 while correct helmet use among motorcycle drivers dropped from 75 per cent in 2019 to 69 per cent in 2020.

Similarly, he said the rate of correct helmet use decreased among motorcycle passengers from 45 per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent in 2020. Mr Ahiable noted that seatbelt use among drivers also fell from 81 per cent in 2019 to 66 per cent in 2020.

Implementation

As a result of the increasing figure, he said some action plans were being implemented to improve road safety in Accra.

Some, he said, included a collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to train road safety inspectors to conduct specific road inscriptions and make recommendations for improvement.

Additionally, he said AMA had successfully launched its first mass media campaign focused on speeding.

He said the campaign which targeted male drivers between 18 and 29 reached about one million dwellers in Accra and had a positive impact on its audience.