The Mayor of Accra launches Road Safety Strategy
Hits: 1584
Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra launching the Strategy

The Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah has launched the first ever Road Safety Strategy for Accra as part of measures to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in the city.


The strategy which spans through 2018 till 2030, was developed in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and SSATP African Transport Policy Programme.


Hon. Adjei Sowah, launching the Strategy said, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) recognizes that road accidents remain one of the major causes of deaths and serious injuries around the world, hence these efforts being put in place by AMA-BIGRS to make the city's roads safe.


The strategy, he said, hopes to reduce road fatalities in the city to less than 125 per annum, achieve less than 6 fatalities per 100,000 population, reduce serious injuries to less than 375 per annum as well as minimize pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries to less than 350 per annum.


The Mayor, noted that some critical issues identified in this strategy include governance and ownership of road safety, legal framework for road safety, design and function of roads, land use, planning, and priorities, non-compliance with traffic rules by motorcyclists, driver testing, licensing and behaviour of private and commercial drivers, as well as post-crash emergency response and care.


He expressed AMA’s determination to see the strategy through, by putting the necessary arrangements in place to support this agenda adding that the strategy has come to complement the massive drive by the AMA to reduce road fatalities and injuries.


“We will see to the establishment of an Accra Road Safety Council which will be chaired by me. It will be backed up by a management group and a professional secretariat. An Annual Road Safety Plan will also be prepared identifying the road safety commitments of constituent agencies, and we will publish an Annual Road Safety Report. The AMA shall further commission a road safety investment plan that identifies the need within the city," he emphasised.


He identified four key risk factors as “driving without seatbelts, drink-driving, speeding, and not wearing helmets”.


Mayor Sowah affirmed the Assembly's unflinching commitment to the safety of city dwellers and called on all institutions and citizens to collaborate with the Assembly to deal with carnage on our roads.


"Consider what you, your school, your workplace and your community can do to help the relevant stakeholders in the tackling of this crisis. We must all contribute if we are to reach our goal of a safe Accra," he said.


Mr. Martins Small, the lead Consultant for SSATP on his part indicated that road safety challenges pose a trauma around the world, hence the vision of the strategy to make Accra a safe city, free from road traffic deaths and serious injuries is commendable.


The AMA-BIGRS initiative Coordinator, Mr. Osei Kuffour also revealed that the initiative since 2015 has yielded positive results but was quick to add that there is more room for improvement to reduce fatalities and injuries.


“We have been able to construct 400 meters of pedestrian walkways, recovered 34km of pedestrian sidewalks, built 11 speed humps at selected locations and marked 20 new pedestrian crossing across the city of Accra. The AMA-BIGRS collaboration had help built the capacity of 90 road safety practitioners on the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), 333 police and metro guards, 40 journalists, 6 city staff graduates and had set up a data unit in the AMA to effectively inform decisions," he said .


Mrs. Tawia Addo-Ashong, lead Consultant for World Bank and Alhaji Iddrisu Fuseini, Deputy Director, Vehicle Inspection and Registration at DVLA, expressed their commitment to work towards the realisation of the strategy.


Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)