AMA, Bloomberg achieve success in road safety campaign

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Road Safety

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has said its Mass Media Campaign on road safety had achieved success in reducing speeding and deaths on the roads of Accra.

It said the first-ever mass media campaign, dubbed; “School Girl” carried out in collaboration with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) reached nearly one million people as at November 2019.

The campaign was done in collaboration with the Partnership for Healthy Cities to address speeding.

This was made known in a joint statement by the AMA and the BIGRS on post-campaign evaluation.

It said speeding was a key cause of traffic crashes globally, contributing to more than 1.35 million deaths on the world’s roads each year.

The statement said an observational study by the Johns Hopkins University showed that 77 per cent of drivers in Accra exceeded the speed limits mounted along the roads.

“The AMA’s road safety report for 2015 – 2018 recorded 1,812 road crashes,” it said.

Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the AMA Chief Executive, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said: “We want Accra to be a safe, smart, sustainable and a resilient modern city. Regrettably, like other great cities of Africa, we are struggling with a road traffic system, which is killing and disabling many of our citizens.”

“Research shows that the causes of road crashes are more behavioural than accidental, hence, the need for concerted, multi-sectorial effort to combat the menace by changing the attitude of drivers and all road users through multiple mass media campaigns backed by enforcement.’’

Mr Sowah expressed gratitude to the BIGRS for assisting the City of Accra to undertake the first mass media campaign.

He said the “School Girl” campaign was developed in partnership with Vital Strategies, a global health organisation, and an implementing partner of BIGRS and the Partnership for Healthy Cities.

Sandra Mullin, the Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Communication at Vital Strategies, said: “Every road traffic crash is preventable and we applaud the AMA for taking the steps needed to reduce the number of deaths on its roads.”

“When run regularly and paired with enforcement, mass media campaigns like the ‘School Girl’ are critical in changing attitudes and behaviour of road users. We are pleased that the evaluation of Accra’s campaign showed positive changes in attitude towards speeding.”

She said it was a step in the right direction but more work was still needed to reduce speeding and save lives.

The campaign featured a public service announcement, illustrating the deadly consequences of exceeding speed limits, portraying a young girl struck and killed instantly by a speeding driver while on her way to school.

The “School Girl” is aimed at deterring speeding to reduce road traffic crashes and save lives.

The campaign was ran on television, radio, and social media and was accompanied by billboards from November 12 to December 18, 2019.

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