The Accra Metropolitan Assembly, in partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (AMA-BIGRS), has released the first AMA Road Safety Report, analysing data from 2011 to 2015.
The report reveals that 13,059 crashes occurred during this span, showing the need for strong efforts to improve road safety in Accra.
The report according to the Police data said 2,934 people were seriously injured and 909 died from road crashes in the Accra metropolitan area from 2011 to 2015.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the AMA Chief Executive launched the report at the Accra City Hotel on Tuesday.
He said the economic and social consequences of road deaths, and the cost of treatment and rehabilitation for severely injured casualties, should be a major concern for city administrators, national governments, road safety agencies, the police, public health professionals and citizens.
The report, he noted was expected to inform the strategic planning of further road safety measures in the future adding that the identification of high-risk locations and times of day would help city agencies to focus their efforts on engineering remedial and targeted enforcement that would have the most impact.
Mr Sowah disclosed that other key findings of the report indicated that the highest number of crashes during the period was recorded in 2015, with 2,979 crashes, a 40.6 per cent increase from the number recorded in 2014.
“Almost 90 per cent of road fatalities in the observation period were pedestrians, motorcycle riders and bicyclists – the most vulnerable road users. Pedestrians constituted about 70 per cent of all fatalities, motorcyclists (drivers and passengers) about 14 per cent, and bicyclists about 2 per cent.
“Males accounted for approximately 80 per cent and 70 per cent of deaths and severe injuries, respectively. The highest proportion of deaths and serious injuries in 2015 was among men 25 to 39 years old: 77 fatalities and 252 serious injuries occurred among males in this age group that year,” he said.
The Chief Executive said about 60 per cent of road crashes on the major national highways in the Accra metropolitan area were recorded on the ‘N1,’ with the ‘N6’ and ‘N4’ also showing a significant proportion of crashes and that Saturdays saw the highest number of crashes and serious injuries in 2015, although most fatal crashes took place on Sundays.
Mr Sowah observed that the launch of the AMA Road Safety Report was a component of on-going road safety surveillance activities and were in line with his goal of using data to inform decision-making.
“The AMA aims at regularly publishing additional road safety reports to track progress and inform interventions to save lives. AMA-BIGRS will engage health facilities within the Accra Metropolitan area in the coming months to review and analyse data on victims of road crashes who were sent to health facilities,” he added.
He reiterated the need for drivers to desist from acts that were contrary to the road traffic regulations and urged all road users in the Accra Metropolitan area to prioritise their safety and ensure that no lives were lost in Accra because of said crashes.
Madam Sylviane Ratte, the Deputy Director of the Global Road Safety Initiative in a statement on behalf of Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety thanked the Mayor of Accra for his commitment towards the initiative.
She pointed out that data was key and critical in decision making and urged policy makers not to leave the report on the shelves to gather dust.
Madam Sarah Nana Yeboah, in a remark on behalf of the Head of Emergency and Accident Unit of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital appealed to governments and all stakeholders to help address the issue of inadequate ambulances in the country to transport accident victims safely to health facilities.
The AMA-BIGRS is a five-year initiative supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies with four components: safer streets and mobility, enforcement, strategic communication, and surveillance.
Some activities and interventions to enhance road safety undertaken since the AMA-BIGRS partnership began in 2015 included; road assessments to guide design recommendations for safer roads; the launch and continuous implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
Others are; the formation of a task force including; the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service and City Metropolitan Guards, and road safety communication campaigns to reduce drink-driving during festive occasions.