The AMA Boss sharing pleasantries with Bloomberg Director
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly in partnership with New York based Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road safety (AMA-BIGRS) on Monday launched the Accra City Road safety Initiative at the Accra City Hotel.
The AMA by this partnership is expected to implement three key strategies which are public education, enforcement and safer road design as efforts to enhance public safety with regards to road use.
Addressing guests during the launch, the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah stated that road safety is a critical global, national and city priority which needs rigorous multi-sectoral approach to reduce the catastrophic toll of injuries and deaths.
He continued that road crashes kill over a million people annually with pedestrian and motorcycles representing a substantial amount of global road crash deaths.
The Mayor regretted that in Ghana between 2011 -2015, road traffic crashes which occurred in the city of Accra were 12,877 with 891 deaths and 2,877 severe injuries.
“All the road crashes affect our city’s economy, the road crash victim’s family’s finances, and it puts a severe strain on our already over-burdened emergency response and medical systems besides government’s loss of 1.6% of GDP” he remarked.
Reading into the profiles of the victims of the various forms of accidents in the city, Mr. Adjei Sowah stated that about 79% of the victims fall within the productive bracket.
The Mayor mentioned also that the current high patronage of two wheelers popularly referred to as ‘okada’ raises concerns; one of which is a sustained public education for both patrons and riders alike to wear crash helmets as well as obey all motor traffic regulations.
Notwithstanding the grim statistics, the Mayor who assumed office barely a couple of weeks ago, was confident that Accra is making significant progress in its fight against road crashes.
He called for tighter collaboration with the Police MTTD and other key stakeholders in the road management industry.
The Director of Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BPIGRS)Rebecca Bavinger said her organization is happy to support AMA in the project.
According to her, BPIGRS is providing USD 125million to fund road safety projects in ten (10) cities and five (5) countries over a five-year period
She also mentioned that her institution will provide technical assistance to AMA during the project period.
Director General of MTTD, DSP Adu Boahen said the use of two-wheeled vehicle (Okada) for commercial purposes will continue to be illegal until Parliament amends the law.
By Solomon Ofori