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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Kumasi records alarming rate of pedestrian knockdowns

Recent data has revealed a surge in pedestrian accidents, comprising more than 60% of road crash fatalities in Kumasi.

The National Road Safety Authority has attributed this trend to traders taking over pavements of major streets, leaving pedestrians with no option but to risk their lives on busy roads.

Despite a 16% decrease in road traffic deaths from 2021 to 2022, road traffic crashes have increased by 24%. 61% of the fatalities involve pedestrians, 22% motor and tricyclists, 16% vehicle occupants, and 1% cyclists.

The National Road Safety Authority blames the incident on speeding and fatigue driving.

Head of the National Road Safety in the Ashanti region, Kwasi Agyenim Boateng, reveals that a major cause of pedestrian knockdown is human activities, like the use of major walkways by traders for trading activities.

He indicated that the encroachment by the hawkers denies access, thereby forcing pedestrians to use busy roads, increasing the risk of collisions.

“Now we see that a lot of the pedestrian infrastructures have been taken over by hawkers and other traders. So it is an issue; we find pedestrians using the road instead of using the provided walkways.”

He, however, spoke of efforts by the authorities to sensitize traders on the dangers of occupying major walkways at the expense of their lives.

He added that the authority is collaborating with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) and the Drivers and Vehicular Licensing Authority (DVLA) to enforce laws on the roads.

Mr. Boateng advised pedestrians to use designated walkways and wear visible clothing at night.

Head of the accidents and emergency unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr. Chris Oppong, said road crashes top the number of emergency cases reported at the hospital. He disclosed that pedestrian knockdowns, especially those involving school children, remained high among road crash reported cases at the hospital.

He emphasized the need for overpasses on highways, pedestrian walkways, and zebra crossings.

“Pedestrian knockdowns are due to a lot of factors, and most of them involve kids. When school reopens and the children are walking to school unaccompanied, many of them get knocked down. Even their school buses, the same school bus they get down from, knock them down when the bus tries to reverse. This is because of the size of the children. But even with adults, we have had quite a number because of different factors; our roads typically do not have walkways, the highways do not have a lot of pedestrian overpasses, zebra crossings, and also drivers overspeed,” he said.

The road injury surveillance coordinator for Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Wirekoh Kingsley, also highlighted vehicular speeding as a major cause of pedestrian fatalities and urged effective stakeholder collaboration to enhance road safety.

He further urged stakeholders to work effectively to take complete actions based on the findings of the report.

“We encourage data use; the report shouldn’t be on shelves or tables and read like a daily graphic. No, for example, the report shows that fatalities mostly occur following crashes between 6 pm and 10 pm. For this, there are a lot of factors; it could be visibility or other factors, so stakeholders must take this report and, based on the findings, implement the right interventions,” he admonished.

Source:
Doris Lonta “https://citinewsroom.com/2023/11/kumasi-records-alarming-rate-of-pedestrian-knockdowns/citinewsroom.com” Kumasi

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