Road safety campaign launched in Accra

Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah(second left) presenting the items to ACP. Fosu Ackaah(third right) Whiles other officials look.

Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah(second left) presenting the items to ACP. Fosu Ackaah(third right) Whiles other officials look.

A safety campaign geared towards reducing carnage on the road during the yuletide has been launched in Accra.

The campaign, themed, “Slow Down”, would promote public education, road engineering and emergency response during critical periods.

It was organised by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) in partnership with the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD)

As part of the campaign, various road safety equipment such as traffic cones, digital lifeloc, reflective vests, LED touch lights and rain coats would be made available.

Speaking at the event, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, expressed worry about road fatalities and stressed on the need for an effective campaign to create awareness to curb the situation.

According to the MCE, road traffic crashes happen throughout the year with December recording the highest numbers of road traffic crashes.

“According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2018 road safety report, road traffic injury is now the eighth leading cause of death for all age groups worldwide, up from the ninth leading cause of death. It is also now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged between five and 29 years. The report indicates that the problem is getting worse,” he said.

Mr Sowah said the causes of the fatalities included rapid urbanisation, poor safety standards, lack of enforcement, distracted or fatigued driving, failure to wear seatbelt and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He commended the police for their good work and charged them to continue enforcing the motor traffic laws.

Mr Sowah urged drivers to drive with care this festive season, adding that “every driver must ensure that they wear their seatbelt all the time, use child restraint, wear helmets always, avoid drunk driving, and above all, reduce their speed and be within the speed limits.”

In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, Executive Director, National Road Safety Commission, said provisional statistics on road traffic crashes as at the end of November this year indicated a total of 12,396 crashes involving 20,082 vehicles.

According to her, the casualties comprised 2,118 fatalities and 12,138 injuries, adding that 2,918 pedestrians were knocked down.

Mrs Obiri-Yeboah called on stakeholders to actively participate in the fight against road crashes, insisting that “road safety is a shared and collective responsibility, so let us come together and solve the problems on our roads.”

Receiving the items, the Director General, MTTD, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Fosu Ackah, commended the AMA and BIRGS for the gesture, and said a core duty of the police on the road was to help manage traffic and also to avoid casualties.

He was optimistic that the campaign would yield positive results, especially in the fight against road indiscipline in the metropolis.

BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG

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