Pedestrians most affected in road crashes in Accra — Report

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah launching the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Road Safety Report.  Picture: ESTHER ADJEI
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah launching the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Road Safety Report. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

About 13,059 road crashes occurred in the Accra Metropolitan Area between 2011 and 2015 which claimed 909 lives and injured 2,934 others.

A road safety report by the city authority which was launched in Accra last Tuesday indicated that 90 per cent of all fatalities within the five-year period involved pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as motorcycle riders, bicyclists and passengers.

The report further revealed that 2015 recorded 2,979 crashes, representing a 40.6 per cent increase over the 2014 figure.

According to findings in the report, the highest number of serious crashes in 2015 occurred between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, although most of the fatal crashes occurred on Sunday.

Report

It was conducted by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in collaboration with Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and some other stakeholders.

The comprehensive road safety report is the first of its kind to be conducted by any metropolitan, municipal and district assembly (MMDA).

It sought to provide reliable data on road crashes in the metropolis to help in advocacy and other enforcement measures to tackle the carnage on the roads.

The report provides information on the nature and magnitude of deaths and injuries from road crashes in the metropolis to paint a real picture of the dire nature of the menace.

Problem areas

According to the report, the N1 highway (George Walker Bush Highway) recorded 1780 road crashes, accounting for about 60 per cent of accidents on major highways.

The Graphic Road, Ring Road, Nima Road as well as the George Walker Bush Highway have been cited as the areas where most crashes occur in the capital city.
 
Presenting details of the report, the Surveillance Coordinator of AMA-BIGRS, Dr Raphael Baffour Awuah, drink driving, failure to use helmet and seat belts, as well as speeding were the major factors that accounted for some of the road crashes.

He said even though there was a general improvement in the use of helmets and seat belts, there was still more room for improvement since about 68 per cent of passengers were not putting on the device.

“About 72 per cent of all vehicles were observed exceeding the posted speed limit,” the report added.

Call to action

Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AMA, Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said the way forward to reduce carnage on the roads was for key stakeholders to collaborate to enforce the law.

“There is too much indiscipline on our roads and people are dying because of the carelessness of others. The data that has been presented is critical to all of us but we cannot be talking about data without acting curb the menace,” he stressed.

Mr Sowah urged the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), the Motor Traffic and Transport Division (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) and other stakeholders to up their game to help save lives on the roads.

“The time has come for us to tell the story and back it with facts and figures to let people know the realities on the ground,” he said.

He stressed that the AMA would crack the whip on people who parked at unauthorised places in the city, adding that; “there a lot of places to park cars but people choose to obstruct the roads by parking their cars anyhow; this will not be countenanced going forward.”

The Deputy Director of BIGRS, Ms Sylvia Ratte, urged the AMA and other stakeholders to put the report to good use to help address the menace.

“The report is a wake-up call that tells us that we are not doing enough to curb road crashes so we need a more sustainable approach to deal with it,” she said.

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