Accra selected to benefit from road safety initiative

Accra metropolis has been selected among nine cities in the world to benefit from a 125 million-dollar Global Road Safety Initiative.

The other cities are Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Bandung in Indonesia, Bangkok in Thailand, Bogota in Colombia, Fortaleza in Brazil, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Mumbai in India, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Shanghai in China.

The gesture is aimed at reducing road fatalities and injuries in the selected cities.

Accra would also be part of global network of visionary municipal leaders committed to implementing bold and new efforts to save lives and protect citizens from road traffic crashes.

Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive disclosed this at a press briefing in Accra.

He expressed gratitude to the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative, a non-governmental organization based in the United States for selecting Accra among the 20 strong applicant cities to strengthen road safety legislation and implementation-proven interventions.

Dr Vanderpuije said the nine cities would receive senior level full-time staff to assist city authorities in their road safety initiatives for five years.

“Comprehensive technical training for Ghana Police officers and other relevant city staffs, such as the City Guards will be received from world’s leading road safety organizations from the US while there will be a creation of hard-hitting mass media campaign.”

The Accra Mayor said road traffic data collated by the National Road Safety Commission in 2011 identified Accra as one of the cities in Ghana with the highest road traffic deaths.

“It was therefore a welcome challenge when the Bloomberg Road Safety Initiative for 2015 was launched and Accra was invited to compete and the result was what we see today as the metropolis has been selected among the nine cities,” Dr Vanderpuije said.

He said road safety criteria such as improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, increasing awareness through media campaigns, increasing police enforcement to combat drunk-driving, speeding as well as encouraging the use of motorcycle helmets and child restraints were some of the factors used in selecting Accra.

“Others were infrastructure solutions like widened sidewalks and improved pedestrian crossings in the cities.” GNA

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