Speeding; leading cause of road crashes in Accra-2ND AMA Road Safety Report

04.Oct.2019

The proportion of vehicles speeding above the posted limit in the Accra Metropolitan area has increased from 68% in 2018 to 77% as of April 2019 resulting in a rise of road traffic crashes.

This was contained in the second AMA Road Safety Report which was launched in Accra on Thursday in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS).

Findings from the Report which covered the period 2016-2018, revealed that, the number of reported road traffic crashes in Accra increased from 1,697 in 2016 to 1,812 in 2018 with serious injuries and deaths also increasing by 89 per cent and 51 per cent from 2017 to 2018 respectively.

The report which analyses data from 2016 to 2018, derived from police crash reports and hospital records, together with observational studies on road injury risk factors indicates that a higher proportion of motorcycles were also observed speeding relative to other vehicle types (86%) in the most recent round followed by sports utility vehicles (SUVs) (83%) and saloons (78%).

The Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who officially launched the report noted that key findings from the report should inform stakeholders in road safety to develop appropriate interventions and was hopeful that the efforts at the city-level would complement national efforts to improve road safety.

He said 84 per cent of road deaths in 2018, according to the report were among vulnerable road users while 47 percent of the deaths occur on weekends.

He announced that, the AMA would embark on a mass media campaign and an enforcement drive on speeding in the coming weeks to help reduce speeding above the posted limit in Accra stressing that the economic and social consequences of road deaths, the costs of treatment and rehabilitation for severely injured casualties, should be a major concern for city administrators, road safety agencies and health professionals.

Mayor Sowah also called for attitudinal change among drivers towards speeding urging them to strictly adhere to the road traffic regulations in order to reduce the rate of crashes and fatalities being recorded.

The Surveillance Coordinator for AMA -BIGRS, Dr Raphael Baffour Awuah who presented the findings in the report said last year 75 per cent of males die in road crashes whiles 22 per cent of females die.

"From a young age, males are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes than females. About three quarters (73 per cent) of all road traffic deaths globally occur among young males who are almost 3 times as likely to be killed in a road traffic crash as young females," he said.

He further disclosed that "the higher number of crashes were recorded between 2 pm and 8 pm with more road traffic deaths between 4 pm and 10 pm,” he said adding a higher proportion of deaths were recorded between 6 pm and 8 pm compared to other times of the day.

The Central Commander of the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Anderson Fosu-Ackaah in a remark said an important element in dealing with road safety reports and data should be geared towards formulating strategies for enforcement that would spell out the policies, institutional arrangement, coordination, funding database and capacity to deal with road traffic injuries.

"This we think should include an understanding of the volume of traffic deaths, injuries and crashes. Also category of road users affected by age, economic class and pedestrian. In addition, we must think about the geographical area, the risk factors contributing to the crashes in a particular space and time and then the institutional structures necessary to address the road traffic problem," he explained.

He however urged all road safety stakeholders to buy into the report in order to make it relevant to all and sundry.

A representative of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Sarah Nana Yeboah said the hospital had created an Emergency Society Chapter aimed at sharing best practices to solve emergency health case across the city.

Dr Sara Whitehead, a representative of Vital Strategies in a presentation pointed out some interventions being put in place to improve safety on the road includes speed management plan, media campaigns, as well as enforcement on drink driving and helmet use.