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General News of Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Source: AMA

Road safety: Accra to launch mass media campaign in November

Officials of AMA and Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety in a group picture

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) has announced plans to launch the city's maiden road safety mass media campaign in November.

The campaign which forms part of ongoing efforts to reduce road crashes and fatalities in the city will focus on the consequences of speeding while highlighting enforcement efforts to save lives.

During the campaign, one public service announcement (PSA) will run on television, radio, social media, as well as Billboards to discourage motorists from speeding.

This was made known on Wednesday at a stakeholders' engagement to announce results of the message testing and the appropriate PSA to be adapted for the campaign.

Analysis of police crash reports for 2018 indicates that 84% of road traffic deaths in Accra were among vulnerable road users -- pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. In addition, observational data by Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit indicates that 77% of vehicles were speeding above the posted limit in the most recent round of observations on selected corridors in the city".

The Chief Resilience and Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of Accra, Desmond Appiah in his introductory remark said the approved PSA would be redeveloped to fit the Ghanaian context and would be aired for a period of four weeks.

He pointed out that in Accra, speed was estimated to be the main contributory factor in about half of all road crashes adding that the campaign, would be strongly backed by enforcement, to help change road users’ behaviour and save lives.

Mrs Nathalia Osei-Poku, a research manager at Consumer Insights Consult (CIC) in a presentation noted that the main objectives of the message testing process was to assess the comprehension, acceptability and potential effectiveness of the Public Service Announcements (PSAs) under consideration for the road safety campaign.

She explained that qualitative research methodology employing the use of focus group discussions was used to assess 10 PSAs adding that 110 participants were sampled across the city to participate in the focus group discussions to select the appropriate PSA for the mass media campaign".

She said the selected PSA was easy to understand and relate to, has the ability to teach something new, memorable, as well as include relevant and realistic portrayals to fit the Ghanaian social contexts and interaction to impact behavioural intentions and behaviours towards speed reduction.

The Coordinator for AMA-BIGRS, Mr Osei Kufuor, in a remark expressed appreciation to stakeholders for their contributions and efforts to ensure a successful campaign.

Accra was among 10 cities selected by the Bloomberg Philanthropies, a non-profit organisation, to benefit from technical assistance to enhance road safety in the metropolis. The programme is being implemented in collaboration with the World Bank, Union North America, and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP).