The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has held a short ceremony to launch the Road Safety Strategy which is set to span from 2018-2030 in a bid to create a “safe, smart, sustainable and resilient modern city”. The strategy is one out of the many other significant initiatives such as the Pedestrian Road Safety Action Plan (2018-2022) which is now being executed by the AMA with the Assistance of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).
According to the Mayor of Accra, Honorable Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the aim of the Road Safety Strategy is to complement the massive drive by the AMA through the implementation of other key policies to reduce all modes of irresponsible usage of the roads either by drivers or motorists which leads to the death of pedestrian’s predominantly in Accra. He explained that per the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Road Safety Report (2011-2015), pedestrians comprised 70% of all fatalities.
“There were four key areas that we were targeting to reduce that affect pedestrians. One is about people driving without seatbelts and then drink-driving so that we reduce the over speeding on our roads…. especially people who use motorbikes without helmets. These are major contributing factors to the fatalities on our road corridors in Accra…” he said.
Hon. Adjei Sowah noted that the implementation of the Road Safety Strategy has become necessary because despite the statistics pointing clearly those fatalities have reduced in Accra in recent times; the same cannot be said at the national level.
“You can see from the statistics as a result of our interventions the numbers are coming down at the city level but it’s going up at the national level… and that is why we have launched the Road Safety Strategy today because it’s a combination of all the efforts that we have put in for the past couple of years. We launched Pedestrian Road Safety Action Plan; we’ve also launched the Road Safety Report and the information that had been gathered so far, is what had informed us to prepare the Road Safety Strategy which is a long-term strategy…”
He also disclosed that there are plans to ensure the sustainability of the policy and one of such plans is the formation of an Accra Road Safety Council. He elucidated that the creation of the council is to make certain that nobody is left out in the drive to ensure that there are fewer fatalities on our roads.
“… so we creating that platform that whatever that you’re doing, you should be able to consult and let all the agencies that are working on the roads be part of it and that will also inform the safety and that is why we are forming the governance council of which I’m chairing… so that all the major players will discuss the issues; that clearly is the strategy…. but we are looking at certain quick works that will trigger some excitement and could sustain the strategy and one of them is the Lapaz intersection project that we are doing just to ensure that we reduce the fatalities on that particular corridor….. 16% of all the road crashes in Accra happens on the N1 highway and we are looking forward to ensuring that we reduce the road crashes on that particular corridor”
The ceremony to launch the Road Safety Strategy was attended by some key industry players such as a representative from the World Bank, Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, Fire Service, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority among other important figures.
Accra was one of ten cities to be selected in 2015 to take part in the Bloomberg Initiative on Global Road Safety (BIGRS). This represented a substantial commitment by the Mayor and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA0, during the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety 2011-2020.
With the assistance of BIGRS, the AMA has initiated many road safety activities within Accra with partners in the National Road Safety Commission, the Department of Urban Roads, and the Department of Highways, Policies as well as other international partners.
By: David Quaye/universnewsroom