Motorcycles lead in pedestrian accidents on roads

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) is worried about the increasing rate at which pedestrians are being knocked down by motorcycles.

According to the Commission, in 2014 alone, 2,571 people were knocked down by motorists out of which 1,856 lost their lives.

On the average, about 36 accidents occur on the country’s roads every day, with two accidents recorded every hour.

Ashanti Regional Manager of Road Safety Commission, Samuel Obeng Asiamah is surprised motorcycles have taken the lead in pedestrian knockdowns.

 “There’s a trend now, we have more motorcycles knocking down people than cars. So we are now intensifying our education on motorcycle users,” he said.

He, however, observed that some of the accidents are also caused by pedestrians who do not observe road safety regulations.

Meanwhile, an engineer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST) is recommending the placement of more road crossing points to reduce pedestrian knockdowns.

Some experts have called for the construction of road shoulder’s, which is an emergency stopping lane on the edge of a roads or motorways on either side of the road depending on a country’s road use policy.

In some urban areas, road shoulders are used as travel lanes during peak commuting hours.

Dr. Charles Anum Adams of the Transport Department said limited zebra crossing on roads with wide shoulders poses danger to pedestrians.

His proposal is the result of a five-year study into road crashes in the Ashanti Region, which also collected data on traffic volumes over the same period.

He developed what he describes as an accident prediction model after analysing the data. The study also found the presence of sidewalks has increased the risk of injury crashes.

Dr Anum Adams also discovered that crashes involving heavy-duty vehicles and motorcycles are on the rise.

 “Wherever you have high pedestrian volumes you needed to provide safe walking facilities but these wide shoulders were associated with roads with high speed. Whereas you would like to protect these pedestrians on the wide shoulders, adjacent to them you have vehicles moving at high speeds,” he emphasised.

 “We realize that most of the roads do not have adequate crossing facilities so roads with wide shoulders had high risk of crashes,” he added.

Dr. Adams indicated that safety on the two-lane urban roads can improve through effective speed and activity control in the road corridor.