Road Transport and Traffic System, and Safety Problems in Ethiopia: the Two Decades Experiences

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Road transport and traffic system, and safety problems in Ethiopia:

The two decades Experiences

Prepared for 9th International Conference on The Ethiopian Economy

“We must now use every day to act on road safety, and implement effective sustainable action to prevent injury and death on the world’s roads.” Dr Lee Jong-wook, director-general,
World Health Organization

Prepared By: Temesgen Aklilu, (MA, BA)

(Mobile: 0911228931)

March, 2011

Addis Ababa



Pictorial description of some of the accidents in Oromia Eastern Shoa and West Arsi zones

(A loss of economically active life and property damage that imported with foreign currency).




I. Introduction:

Road transport can contribute to the socioeconomic development of our country through facilitating movement of goods and people, opening up isolated areas, and promoting trade. Intricate movement patterns involve short, medium, and long distances, different modes of transport, and interaction within and between different places in the country. The numbers of motor vehicles, volume of road traffic, and utilization of the road by different road users in the country have grown noticeably. These transport characteristics indicate the need to pay adequate attention to safety measures in road transport development, especially safety of urban and rural communities living within the vicinity of roads.

Motor vehicles play an important traffic accident role in transporting goods and people, and as such have an impact on GDP (Gross Domestic Product). However, as the number of motor vehicles on the roads increases, there is more potential for road accidents to occur in terms of vehicle-vehicle conflicts or vehicle-pedestrian conflicts.

Road safety is no accident: it is the result of deliberate efforts by many sectors of society, both governmental and nongovernmental, that have acknowledged it to be an important traffic accident and valuable public good and have developed policies and programs to support and maintain it.

Under-reporting of road traffic injury is a major problem in the country and virtually all countries of the world. About 200 000 people died on African roads in 2002, and in Ethiopia in 2003, above 1,800 people died due to road accident, and about 7,000 people are crippled or injured, and probably many more but we do not have an accurate picture because of the problem of under-reporting. Governments and development partners need to take practical steps to improve data collection, analysis, and sharing among different agencies. Using data from a number of detailed studies, it has been suggested that the level of under reporting of road accident fatalities in LDCs is at least twenty percent (Sayer and Hitchcock, 1984).

The World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention notes that political will and commitment are important traffic accident for sustainable prevention of road traffic injuries. Development agencies need to place road safety in Africa and elsewhere at the centre of the global agenda along with the institutional, political, economic, and social issues which make roads so dangerous(WHO). Bishai and colleagues show that budgetary expenditure on road safety at all levels of government in Uganda is US $0.09 per capita. This problem of low and negligible resource allocation to road safety in Africa needs to be addressed: at the moment, funding for road safety activities in Africa is very limited, a mere drop in the ocean.

Short definition

Motor Vehicle Crash (traffic accident): an event occurring on a street, road or highway, in which at least one motor vehicle in motion is involved by collision or losing control, and which causes physical injury or damage to property.

Casualties: The total number of fatalities and injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents

Fatalities: Deaths that occur within 30 days as a result of motor vehicle accidents.

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