Vulnerable road users account for 76% of road traffic deaths in Kumasi – Report

Vulnerable road users, including cyclists, motor riders and pedestrians, accounted for 76 per cent of all road traffic deaths recorded in Kumasi in 2021, a road safety report has shown.

According to the report, pedestrians alone constituted 60 per cent of the deaths with the highest proportion of deaths within the period being among people aged 30 to 39 years.

These were contained in the second Kumasi road safety report launched in Kumasi as part of an initiative to reduce road crashes, injuries and fatalities in the city through the implementation of proven interventions.

In 2020, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly partnered the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiatives for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) to embark on the initiative to improve safety on roads within the Kumasi Metropolis.

The Global Public Health Organisation Vital Strategies provided technical support for the development of the report which sought to bring to fore information on deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes in Kumasi from 2017 to 2021, using data from the police.

The report further revealed that deaths among pedestrians were mostly caused by cars or pick-up (40 per cent), with buses and mini buses accounting for 27 per cent of the deaths.

There was a consistent increase in the overall number of reported road traffic deaths in Kumasi from 2017 to 2021, according to the findings.

Mr. Samuel Pyne, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) who launched the report, said it provided information that enabled stakeholders to track trends and to assess the magnitude of road crashes, deaths and injuries.

“Findings on at-risk road user groups, risk periods and high risk crash locations should guide the implementations of interventions for improved outcomes,” the MCE underscored.

He said efforts at the city level should also complement national efforts and encouraged stakeholders at the local and national levels to use data to inform their actions to improve safety of road users.

He thanked Bloomberg Philanthropies for selecting Kumasi to participate in the Global Road Safety Initiative and assured that the Assembly was committed to realizing the goals of the initiative.

Dr. Raphael Awuah, Regional Technical Advisor for Africa, Road Injury Surveillance, Vital Strategies, said the report was produced to guide the implementation of interventions to improve outcomes at the city level.

He said the production of the report annually was very important because there was the need to continuously assess the magnitude of the situation at hand and also monitor the effectiveness of the interventions.

He underlined the need to enforce compliance on bye-laws for obstruction of pedestrian walkways, saying that pedestrians were often forced to use the shoulders of roads due to the obstructions by vendors who occupied the walkways.

“I want to urge KMA to take action to free up space on walkways, especially in areas and locations that have been identified as high risk for fatal crashes,” he implored.

Source: GNA

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