Road Safety: Stakeholders, pedestrians call for construction of footbridge at Lapaz

Stakeholders and pedestrians have called for the immediate construction of a footbridge at Lapaz to promote safety of road users.

They have also called for strict enforcement of its use and other road safety regulations after construction.

The call was made on Friday during a pedestrian facility observation and sensitisation exercise at the Lapaz pedestrian crossing in Accra.

The exercise was organised by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) in collaboration with Solidarity for Humanity International (SOHI) as part of celebrations to mark the 7th Global Road Safety Week on the theme, ‘Rethinking Mobility.’

Mr Samuel Boamah Danquah, Senior Manager for Road Safety at Vital Strategies, said the speed analysis conducted showed that vehicles traveled between 90-120 km/hr on the stretch. Besides the high vehicular speed, the stretch hosted a significant pedestrian volume of over 200,000 within a 12-hour period.

He said the signal timing apportioned for pedestrians to cross the 13-lane cross section of road was initially 18 seconds which was woefully inadequate but was increased to 35 seconds after concerns were raised and even with that, the time was still inadequate.

Mr Danquah observed that pedestrians’ disregard for road signals and advised road users to live in harmony and respect the right of way of each other.

He called for all stakeholders to analyse the concerns raised and develop comprehensive solutions to ensure pedestrian safety.

Mrs Pearl Adusu Sateckla, Head of Corporate Affairs, NRSA, said the Authority had taken note of the issues confronting pedestrians when using the crossing and would put together recommendations for the relevant road agencies to develop immediate interventions to protect them.

She observed that pedestrian education was on the low, adding that plans would be rolled out to strengthen pedestrian education both in the media and through outreach programmes.

Mrs Sateckla said the NRSA would soon visit other busy intersections to engage pedestrians and assess the difficulties being experienced there.

Mr Emmanuel Mensah, Programmes Manager, SOHI, encouraged all stakeholders to come together to support the cause of road safety as it was a cross-cutting issue within communities.

Chief Inspector Oppong Kyeremeh and Inspector Benjamin Koranteng, both from the Tesano Divisional Command, told the Ghana News Agency that jaywalking was the major road infraction being practiced by pedestrians.

Jaywalking is the action of walking across a street at a place where it is not allowed or without taking care to avoid the traffic.

They said in such cases, if a driver knocked a pedestrian down, the Law could do very little against the driver had technically not broken any law.

Chief Inspector Kyeremeh bemoaned the disrespect meted out to them from some pedestrians when they tried cautioning or educating them about the wrongful use of the road.

Source: Ghana News Agency