Ghana has been ranked first among 23 countries in Africa by the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) for implementing most road safety action plans developed within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (Decade) initiative.
This ranking means that at the mid-term of the decade-long global initiative, Ghana is recognized as fully implementing most of its commitments or actions within the context of its national blueprint, the National Road Safety Strategy III (2011-2020) and the African Road Safety Action plans.
The ECA in a Mid-term review report released in Addis Ababa sought to assess the extent to which African countries have implemented the African Road Safety Action Plan since its adoption in 2011.
Though progress is being made, performance of the Plan based on five pillars (road safety management; mobility; vehicles; road users; and post-crash response) has been varying with some countries performing well in some pillars but failing in others.
Around 40% of countries are in the process of implementing more road safety management activities and yet more than 30% have not taken significant action to harmonise data formats and use international standards in reporting.
The report encourages countries to invest in research and develop road safety audits while introducing incentives for the importation of newer and safer vehicles and improve traffic education at schools.
Ghana was praised for its efforts at developing a national strategy, the strong coordinating profile of its lead agency the National Road Safety Commission that has led to the avoidance of duplication and waste of scarce resources.
President John Mahama and other high-level officials were commended for their exemplary role in road safety advocacy in Ghana and West Africa.
It is instructive to indicate that, Ghana’s road traffic situation continues to improve over the period with the implementation of the agreed action plans within the framework of NRSSIII.
In 2013 for example, 9200 road traffic crashes were recorded resulting into 12,509 casualties, out of which 1,898 were fatalities.
This represents a 15.27% reduction in Fatalities in 2013 from that of 2012.
Again Provisional data for 2014 also indicates a 2.21% reduction in fatalities from the 2013 situation.
Since 2011, Ghana’s fatality rate (deaths per 10,000 vehicles) continue to post declining levels from 17.94 in 2011 to 14.62 in 2012 and 11.11 in 2013.
In April 2012, Ghana was the only African country invited by the United Nations to share its road safety management approach considered as a model in Africa and developing economies by the United Nations.
The Commission remains encouraged by these recognitions but will remain motivated and focused on our national targets of making Ghana, a country with the safest transportation system in Africa.