Accra, Dec. 13, GNA – The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has launched a road safety action plan to address pedestrian safety at authorized crossings and junctions in Accra.
The plan is also to increase walk ability of streets, manage public street spaces, ensure the safety of school journeys, ensure safe speeds by vehicles and engage the public and road system designers to improve pedestrian safety and awareness.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, launching the plan said the AMA’s primary goal is to improve the quality of life of people living within the city, as well as an improved mobility and enhanced methods of assuring road safety.
He said it would ensure the availability of proper road infrastructure for safe and facilitated movement of all road users, particularly for vulnerable road users, including children, the elderly, physically challenged persons, cyclists and motor users.
He said between 2011 and 2015, Accra recorded 13,616 road crashes with 951 being fatalities. Provisional data for 2017 also indicates that as at November, 257 road users have lost their lives.
It is in the light of these that the AMA has come up with the action plan, which is a component of the partnership for healthy cities, which is a new initiative embarked on by the AMA in May this year.
“This partnership is a global network of more than 50 cities that have committed to helping make their citizens safer and healthier.”
Mr Adjei Sowah said “under this partnership initiative, an enhancement of the safety features of Accra’s Lapaz intersection on the George Walker Bush Highway is to be undertaken in the first quarter of 2018. This will include the introduction of speed reduction measures, widening of the pedestrian kerbs, changes to traffic signal timings, among others.”
Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, the Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), commended the AMA and partners for the initiative, which she said, would ensure pedestrian safety in the metropolis.
She said this would help spearhead and coordinate all activities within various institutions to streamline the activities, which hitherto, were handled on different fronts, into one big plan to ensure a clear way of providing the infrastructures for pedestrian safety.
Mrs obiri-Yeboah said, according to the WHO, more than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads each year, accounting for 22 per cent of the total 1.24 million road traffic deaths.
“At the national level, six people are killed every day, this situation is far more than deaths recorded through crimes yearly,” she said.
The WHO says, “Nearly 39 per cent of these deaths are pedestrians, while 66 per cent of these pedestrians are knocked down while crossing the road, while 23 per cent of pedestrian deaths involve children below the age 16 years.
“Inattentiveness on the road plays a major role in all these fatalities at the rate of 34 per cent, while 26 per cent and 10.5 per cent accounts for speeding and loss of control respectively, if this is anything to work with, then we must have concerns for the loss of lives and impact it has on the family units and the socio-economy implications on the Nation,” She said.
The Executive Director of the NRSC mentioned mechanical, attitudinal, lack of road safety education, drivers and pedestrian’s negligence as some of the causative factors of road crashes, and urged drivers and road users to work together to ensure safety on the roads through their actions.
The AMA and Bloomberg philanthropies are partners in the implementation of the Bloomberg Initiative of Global Road Safety (BIGRS).
This BIGRS initiative is a ten city initiative with Accra and Addis Ababa as the participating cities in Africa, the AMA-BIGRIS and over its five-year duration has the goal of reducing the number of road crashes in the city of Accra by 50 per cent by the year 2020.
The goal is in line with the United Nation’s Golden Decade of road safety to work towards reducing road crashes and death, it is also in line with the goal of the NRSC, which is the initiatives key partner in implementing the initiative.
Source: Ghana News Agency