Urban Travel Patterns and Safety among School Children Around Accra, Ghana

Urban transport and travel safety in African cities have not received enough attention in global research and policy. This paper contributes to this gap, by exploring how travel behaviors and patterns of school pupils between the ages of 6–15 years are expose to risk of fatal injury around Accra, Ghana's capital. The study adopted a case study design and multiple qualitative methods of data collection. A total of 370 pupils and their parents were randomly sampled and interviewed, using semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides. In addition, 53 teachers, officials of municipal departments of roads and transport, association of transport operators and other key informants were purposively sampled and interviewed, using interview guides. Finally, the daily journey, to and from school, of selected pupils were observed for a week along major routes and around school zones during peak hours. The study revealed that walking is still the dominant mode of travelling to and from school, adopted by 53.7% and 57.5% of pupils, respectively. This is because most of the pupils studied (48.6%) live within less than 1 km from their respective schools. Similar to other African cities, the main challenge associated with walking to school, in Accra is that, most pupils are neither accompanied nor protected by any adult. The situation is worsened by their risky travel behaviors such as jay walking, dropping off at areas not designated as bus stops; riding bicycles without helmets and playing while crossing the road after school hours. The paper draws attention to traffic collisions and fatalities among basic school pupils in and around Accra. Particularly, the paper resonates the worsening trip-to-school behaviors of basic school pupils in African cities. Cities on the continent still provide unsafe, expensive and inefficient transport services. The paper calls for a re-examination of urban mobility and safety among school pupils; as an urgent urban transport policy issue in Africa cities.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01723031
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2019 9:42AM