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

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 Ethiopia [pic] 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). [pic] [pic] [pic] 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. Injuries: Number of persons who sustain tissues damage, which may be slight or serious, in a motor vehicle crash. Serious Injury: Is an injury for which a person is detained in hospital as an in-patient. Slight injury: Is an injury of a minor character such as sprain (tug) (, bruise (discoloration), a cut or laceration which is not judged to be severe and does not require in-patient treatment. II. Background More than 1. 2 million people are killed in road accidents, worldwide, and every year.

Out of these 1. 2 million, 90% occurred in low- and middle-income countries (Peden et al. , 2004). Africa has the highest fatality rate in relation to her population (28. 3 per 100,000 populations. This Africa’s rate is substantially higher than motorized countries in the world, such as those in North America (12. 1 to 16. 2 per 100,000 populations) (Peden et al. , 2004). For its 4 per cent of the world’s motor vehicles, the African road fatality share exceeds 10% of the total fatalities (GRSP, 2009; Jacobs, 2000).

The road traffic safety is becoming one of the tenth killers in developing countries, unlike the developed world, where the proportion of vehicle population is almost 90% of the world. In addition to death and injury, road accidents in low income and middle income countries have a pronounced economic effect, with several countries spending between $65billion and $100billion annually. These costs include loss of income and the burden placed on families to care for their injured relative.

A large factor in the high number of road accidents in these less developed countries is the poor quality of the roads themselves, with cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians also in considerable danger due to the roads not having ample space for all the vehicles that travel them (Matthew Pressman, February, 2008). Top 10 Causes of Death in high income and low income countries (Ann Edmondson, 2006) a. In high income countries: 1. Heart disease 2. Stroke 3. Lung cancer 4. Lower respiratory infections 5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 6. Colon and rectum cancers . Alzheimer’s disease 8. Type 2 diabetes 9. Breast cancer 10. Stomach cancer b. The list of major death for low- and middle-income countries 1) Heart disease 2) Stroke 3) Lower respiratory infections 4) HIV/AIDS 5) Fetus/newborn (prenatal) conditions 6) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 7) Diarrhea 8) Tuberculosis 9) Malaria 10) Road traffic accidents One child is killed in road accidents every 3 minutes worldwide. World spend Billions and millions of Dollar to fight Terrorism, and to survive from Tsunami, but less people died because of these problems.

The reverse is true for road traffic accidents-less attention but millions die. 2-3% of GDP is lost in road traffic accidents. As many as 50 million are injured, occupying 30 percent to 70 percent of orthopedic beds in developing countries hospitals. And if present trends continue, road traffic injuries are predicted to be the third-leading contributor to the global burden of disease and injury by 2020. Since road traffic injuries affect mainly males (73 percent of deaths) and those between 15 and 44 years old, this burden is creating enormous economic hardship due to the loss of family breadwinners.

Road accidents are Africa’s third biggest killer: Africa’s roads are the most dangerous in the world Bad roads, aged vehicles and lax regulations are all considered major contributing factors to Africa’s road fatality and accident numbers Driver impairment is an important traffic accident component of road traffic accidents: Driving at excess speeds, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while sleepy or tired, In developing countries, blood alcohol is present in 33 percent to 69 percent of fatally injured drivers.

Some facts of the world road traffic accidents data and analysis Table 1: Number of annual road accident fatalities, by region (1992/93) Continent |Number of fatalities | |Europe |97,500 | |Africa |74,000 | |North America |45,300 | |South America |38,500 | |Asia and Middle East (including Japan) |240,000 | |Oceania |4. 00 | |TOTAL |499,300 | |Developing Countries |352,500 | |Industrialized Countries |146,800 | [pic] 1975 19801985 1990 Fig. : Percentage change in road accident fatalities ?Latin America (2 countries)• Africa (12 countries) ? Australasia (2 countries)¦ Asia (4 countries) ?North America (2 countries)X Middle East (3 countries) ¦Europe ( 12 countries)Base year = 1968 [pic] Table 2: The worst World Countries in Traffic Accidents |Countries |Fatality rate per 100,000 population |Continents | |Eritrea |48. |Africa | |Cook Islands |45. 0 |pacific | |Libya |40. 5 |Africa | |Iraq |38. 1 |Asia | |Niger |37. 7 |Asia | |Gambia |36. |Africa | |Iran |35. 8 |Asia | |Mauritania |35. 5 |Africa | |Ethiopia |35. 0 |Africa | |Sudan |34. 7 |Africa | |Tunisia |34. |Africa | |Kenya |34. 4 |Africa | |Tanzania |34. 3 |Africa | |USA |12. 3 |N. America (for comparison) | [pic] Fig. 1 – Global Distribution of Motor Vehicles and Fatalities due to Road Traffic Injuries, 1999 Source: Nantulya V. et al, (2002) Table 3: The worst African countries in Traffic Accidents Countries |Death | | |HUMAN |VEHICLES |ENVIRONMENT | | | | |PHYSICAL |SOCIAL/ ECONOMIC | |Pre-crash |Crash prevention | | |Bus | | |No of accidents |Death |Property damage (million) | 2008/9 |3473 |1055 |66. 53 | |2009/10 |3610 |1129 |93. 45 | |Percentage change |+% 3. 79 |+% 6. 55 |+% 40. 46 | Source: Oromia traffic police commission, December, 2010 In Ethiopia, annually, on average about 2000 people died, 8000 people injured and an estimation of 500 million Birr property damage occurred. This trend has started to decline in recent years.

The average death per 10,000 vehicles has dropped to 70 people from 136, before 7 years. III. The case study of Oromia region, with special emphasis on East Shoa and West Arsi Zones Next to Addis Ababa, Oromia regional state is facing serious road traffic accidents every year. The good opportunity of having all access roads to all parts of the country has created unnecessary costs as a result of road traffic accidents. Out of all routes and zones passing though the region, the eastern Shoa zone (The route to ports and eastern parts of the country) and West Arsi zone (The rout to Shashemene- Hawassa) are the second and third zones those become victim of the road traffic accidents. Traffic accident situation in Oromia region No |Budget year |Magnitude of traffic accident |TOTAL ACCIDENT SIZE | | | |Death |Heavy injury | | |2008/9 |2009/10 |2008/9 |2009/10 |2008/9 |2009/10 | |1 |Borana |55 | |Year |Death |

No |year |Total accident magnitude |Death |Heavy injury |Light injury |No of Accident on property |Estimation of property damage | | |2006/7 |258 |57 |111 |21 |69 |155,924,000 | | |2007/8 |282 |72 |65 |44 |101 |2,746,110 | | |2008/9 |241 |76 |33 |50 |82 |2,738,550 | | |2009/10 |166 |46 |15 |29 |76 |1. 319,350 | | IV. Recommendation and the way forwards Steps to be taken to prevent & reduce road accidents 1) Continuous education (safety awareness raising) of the public and the active stakeholders about the road traffic safety. Start from childhood age. 2) Applying the Es principles- (Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Engagement, Encouraging…) ) Most important traffic accident method to bring down accidents is strict enforcement of speed limits. – (90% of road traffic accidents can be avoided by strict enforcement of speed limits. ) – Existing speed limit should be brought down further) 4) Heavy penalty should be imposed for those who violate (cross) the enforcement and cause accidents 5) Strong enforcement of mandatory seat-Belt utilization for all passengers 6) Tamper proof speed controllers should be made mandatory for all vehicles susceptible to accidents like mini buses, and small public transport and medium sized freight vehicles like ‘Isuzu’. 7) Trying to apply a maximum speed of 50 to 60 KM/per hour ) New gadgets are to be installed for collision prevention. It should automatically slow down the vehicle before the accidents occur. 9) Apply a “systems approach” to road traffic safety that emphasizes involvement at all levels of the road traffic system—from road providers and enforcers (vehicle manufacturers, road traffic planners, road safety engineers, police, educators, health professionals, and insurers) to road users. 10) Establish and strengthen the traffic safety council of the local area. 11) Change or improve the driving license provision system. 12) Driving test for license is to be made more stringent (very strict) and fool proof. 3) Strictly applying the lower age raising and testing against fraud. 14) Strict enforcement of existing and new traffic rules without modification and personal dealing among traffic police and the violators 15) Law should be designed on the higher insurance and compensation coverage that raise the percentage to be covered by the owner and the law violators 16) Strict application of the rule that enforce strong joint responsibility of the driver and his guarantee (warranty/assurance provider), the vehicle owner. 17) Avoid/discourage or ban by government or parents any video/computer games that promote the child competition on motor racing. 18) Avoid any cycling and pedestrian walking on the motor roads. 9) Teach continuously pedestrians to use the left side of the road- like Ambo and Nekemte city administration in Oromia and Awi Zone in Amhara region. 20) Develop all rounded national transport network data base and information communication-to avoid any duplication and fraud of information and licensing. 21) Strict application of laws on drunkard and those chewing ‘CHAT’ drivers. Use modern technology for testing these drugs. 22) Regular eye test for elder drivers 23) Regular test of vehicles with time interval 24) Design road with one way traffic that have medians in between. 25) Having special judicial commission for road traffic safety 26) Provide appropriate pedestrian ways and Zebra crossing at appropriate places 7) Eliminate obstructions from the sidewalk (poles, pits, sands, stones, other construction materials, dead animals, etc) 28) Celebrate public road safety days every year- design slogans, safety tips, essay, painting competitions. 29) The necessary traffic reflectors and signs should be used for all vehicles. 30) New technologies: include 31) Intelligent speed adaptation (vehicle determines the speed limit for the road); 32) Alcohol-ignition interlock systems ( detect alcohol on the breath of drivers), 33) Electronic driver improvement monitors (connect individual driver profile assessments and an individual vehicle operator’s actual driving performance. 34) Enforcing blood alcohol limits with modern simple instrument ———————– 6