The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and Africa Transport Safety Strategy Policy Programme have launched the first ever Accra Road Safety Strategy.
The strategy, is part of efforts to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in the metropolis and it would span from 2018 to 2030.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive who launched the strategy in Accra said it had been noted that road crashes remained one of the major causes of deaths and serious injuries around the world, hence, the efforts of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the BIGRS to make roads in Accra safe.
He said critical issues identified in the strategy were 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.
Mr Sowah said the strategy had come to complement the massive drive of the city authority to reduce road fatalities and injuries and that the AMA would ensure that it was implemented by putting governance arrangements in place to support its agenda.
“We will see to the establishment of an Accra Road Safety Council which will be chaired by me. It will be backed 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 of Accra," Mr Sowah said and affirmed the Assembly’s unflinching commitment to the safety of city dwellers and called on all institutions and citizens to collaborate with the authorities to deal with the carnage on the roads.
"Consider what you, your school, your workplace and your community can do to help tackle the road crisis. We must all contribute if we are to reach our goal of a safe Accra," he said. Mr Martin Small, the lead consultant of SSATP said road safety challenges were 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.
Mr Osei Kuffour, the AMA-BIGRS Initiative Coordinator said the programme, which came into inception since 2015, had yielded positive results, but that there was room for improvement to reduce road 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,” he said.
Mr Kuffour said the AMA-BIGRS collaboration had helped built the capacity of 90 road safety practitioners on the International Road Assessment Programme, 333 police personnel and metro guards, 40 journalists, six city staff graduates and had set up a data unit at the AMA to effectively inform decisions..
Mrs Tawia Addo-Ashong, a lead consultant of the World Bank and Alhaji Iddrisu Fuseini, Deputy Director, Vehicle Inspection and Registration at DVLA on their part expressed their commitment to work towards the realization of the strategy.