Impact of heavy goods vehicles on safety and traffic management in the Tamale Metropolis

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This report presents the results of a study to determine the Impact of Heavy Goods Vehicles on safety and traffic management in the Tamale Metropolis from 2005 to 2007. From 1991 to 2006, a total of 235,559 vehicles were involved in road traffic crashes nationwide, 11.8% of which were HGVs. Within the same period, 21626 people died as a result of their involvement in road traffic crashes throughout the country. 11.2% of these fatalities were HGV-related. On the northern corridor of the national trunk road network, freight transportation continues to grow, largely as a result of trade liberalization in the West African sub region. This appears, in part, to have impacted on safety as the main urban centres in the North have recorded a significant number of HGV-related accident cases. Tamale, the Northern Regional capital has had its fair share of these problems. The objectives of the study were to establish the characteristics of accidents involving HGVs, to determine whether HGVs are prone to specific types of accidents, and to identify challenges posed to traffic management as a result of the presence of HGVs on some selected roads in the CBD. Accident data for the study was collected from the files of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the police service in Tamale, and the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) accident database in Kumasi. Manual Classified Traffic Counts were also conducted on the Bolga, Daboya, Kumbungu, Dagomba and Gukpegu Roads. Travel Time and Delay Studies were conducted on the roads mentioned to determine the duration, location and causes of delays. Discussions were also held with DUR officials in connection with pertinent traffic management issues on the roads studied. The results of the study show that there was a rapid increase in the number of HGV-related accident cases within the period with 21% out of a total of 76 cases occurring in 2005, 33% in 2006 and 46% in 2007. Fatalities also increased from, 26% in 2005, 29% in 2006 to 45% in 2007 out of a total of 93. The year 2006 recorded the highest proportion (18 out of 45) of people that were hospitalised as a result of their involvement in HGV-related accidents. Sixty-two (62) out of 130 casualties also sustained minor injury during 2006. The number of vehicles involved in HGV-related accidents increased in percentage terms from 20% in 2005, 28% in 2006 to 52% in 2007. It has also been revealed that majority of HGV-related accident cases occurred on link sections rather than at intersections, and that HGVs are prone to Rear-end and Ran-off road types of accidents. The Bolga IMPACT OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES ON SAFETY AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT [N THE TAMALE METROPOLIS - MSc. THESIS and Kumbungu Roads were identified as the most prone to HGV-related accidents. Congestion occurs on the Kumbungu Road between the Bonzali Junction and the Market Circle Road due to a backflow, onto the Kumbungu Road, of vehicles entering the Savelugu Terminal. The situation is compounded by slow-moving light trucks and inadequate NMT facilities which together creates conflicts on this section of the road. It has been recommended that the remaining sections of the second ring road be developed to the required standard to accommodate HGVs so that those HGVs destined for Bolga and beyond would no longer go through the city centre. In addition, the Metropolitan Authorities in collaboration with the Department of Urban Roads, and Goods Supply Companies should set up a bulk-breaking terminal along the Ring Road so that goods destined for Tamale can be delivered to the city centre by smaller vehicles.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2008