The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) has launched the second road safety report for the Accra metropolitan area – using the previous boundary of AMA.

The report analyses data from 2016 to 2018, derived from police crash reports and hospital records, together with observational studies on road injury risk factors.

This was in a statement signed and issued by the Head of Public Affairs of AMA Gilbert Nii Ankrah and copied to gbcghanaonline on Thursday, October 3, 2019 in Accra.

The statement said findings from the AMA Road Safety Report 2016-2018 show that the number of reported road traffic crashes in Accra dropped from 1,697 in 2016 to 1,248 in 2017, before increasing sharply to 1,812 in 2018.

Similarly, there was a drop in the number of road traffic serious injuries and deaths from 2016 to 2017, and a sharp increase by 89% and 51% respectively, from 2017 to 2018.

“From 2016 to 2018, males accounted for more than 75% of all road deaths and serious injuries, and the highest proportion of deaths and serious injuries were among those aged 20 to 39 years.

”A higher proportion of deaths were recorded between 6pm and 8pm from 2016 to 2018 in Accra. In addition, fatal crashes occurred frequently between Fridays and Sundays.” The statement said.

Dr. Sara Whitehead of Vital Strategies and representing Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: “These serious injuries and deaths on the roads are not random accidents. They are preventable, and the detailed analysis in this report shows where and for whom prevention efforts need to be targeted so that fewer Accra dwellers die on the roads.”

Other key findings of the report:

•  The proportion of vehicles speeding above the posted limit has increased from 68% in 2018 to 77% as of April 2019. A higher proportion of motorcycles were observed speeding relative to other vehicle types (86%) in the most recent round. This was followed by sports utility vehicles (SUVs) (83%) and saloons (78%).

Vulnerable road users — pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists — made up 84% of road deaths in 2018. Particularly, deaths among motorcycle users in Accra increased from 6% in 2016 to 22% in 2018.

•Findings from the observational studies showed that the rate of motor cycle drivers’ correctly wearing helmets has been fluctuating throughout the observation period.

In the latest round, 75% of motorcycle drivers were observed to be correctly wearing helmets compared to 45% among passengers.

Seat-belt use was significantly higher among drivers (81%) compared to passengers (14%) in the most recent round of observation.

Analysis of hospital records showed that there were 590 cases of road crash casualties in 2017 at the two health facilities which participated in a retrospective study – Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

Of these, 425 victims on admission were discharged while 165 cases resulted in deaths. Of the deaths, 30% were due to crashes occurring within Accra while the remainder were transferred from outside Accra.

Findings from the mortality re-estimation analysis showed an estimate of 233 deaths in Accra in 2017 compared to 86 deaths captured in police records.

The under capturing in police records gives credence to the importance of using complementary data to enhance the reliability of official crash records.

The Chief Executive Officer of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, noted that key findings from the report should inform stakeholders in road safety to develop appropriate interventions. He was hopeful that the efforts at the city-level would complement national efforts to improve road safety.

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