International Conference on Road Safety at Work. Washington DC 16-18 February 2009 ROAD TRAFFIC SAFETY CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Ronald Kabuye Ssebunya National Road Safety Concern Uganda firstname.lastname@example.org
About National Road Safety Concern Uganda Status: NGO Areas of work: • Research • Advocacy • Sensitization
Global Road Safety Situation • Each year road traffic crashes kill nearly 1.2 million people, and injure or disable 20–50 million more people • Globally, more than 40% of all road traffic deaths occur among the 0-25 age group • Road Traffic Injuries are the second leading cause of death for young people aged 5-25 years
Share of Developing Countries • At least 85 percent of the deaths occur in the developing and transitional countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. • The highest rate of fatalities in the 0-25 age range occur among young road users in low-income and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean • Africa, as a region had a disproportionate share of global road fatalities
Homo Autobilissimus” (man) has lived on earth some million years.We have only been automobile drivers in 0, 00005 million years We have in ”a short time” changed our living from striving for survival to be sitting in a car with ABS, ESP, CAS, AICC, IDIS, stereo, mobile phone and video/dvd and navigation instrument Mortorozation in developing countries is increasing so fast.
General problems • Traffic safety is a complex issue. • Increased knowledge is a key factor to success. • Safety is the most important quality in traffic”) • Most developing countries are not prepared to take any active action to improve safety. • Many countries continue to put large resources in trying to convince road users – from a safety view point - to change behaviour on a voluntary basis. • To-day the understanding is greater, but it is still as difficult to produce a change in behaviour.
Major Risk Factors • Speeding: Speed is a main factor contributing to road traffic injuries in most countries. • Drink-driving: Alcohol consumption increases both the likelihood of a crash occurring and the seriousness of the injury sustained.
Risk Factors C’tnd • Non use Seat-belts: Seat-belts have saved more lives than any other road safety intervention in the event of a crash. • DMC’s Vehicles in dangerous mechanical conditions have greatly caused accidents especially along high ways
Risk Factors • Poor road designs: • Separating different types of traffic. Providing safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists. • Building pavements and recognizable crossing structures for pedestrians. Reducing traffic speeds by constructing speed bumps, rumble strips and roundabouts.
CHALENGES & HINDRANCES Lack of Political will. Politicians are not ready to deal with the problem. They infact feel trheatened when speed reducing measures are introduced and enforcement strengthened. Car drivers tend to complain and threaten not to vote them into power again. Forgeting one simple that in most cases when drivers complain over an introduced safety measure,then the situation is improving.
Challenges C’tnd • Little or no expertise in the profession. Traffic safety experts can articulate the three important safety dimensions i.e RISK, EXPOSURE and CONSQUENCES and give scientific definitions and solutions to the problem.
Weak or no road safety policies. Developing countries should improve on their road safety policies. • These Policies need to address and priorities key areas. • The Policies should lay out time plans. • The Policy has to include all stake holders.
International forums For example; The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002 did not include a single item on road safety—a growing problem in Africa and other low income and middle income countries—on its agenda, declaration, or plan of action
Challenges • Weak Economic Base. Developing countries are faced with declining agricultural output, foreign debt burden, unemployment, poorly performing industry, deteriorating healthcare systems, HIV/AIDS (Africa), environmental insecurity, and political instability. This is the context in which the problem of road safety has to be addressed. How does the prevailing economic situation in Africa affect the amount of resources devoted to road safety?
Insufficient data collection. The definition of a road accident fatality is not clear in many developing countries. For example: • Dead withinCorrection Factor (IRTAD, 1998) • 30 days (most EU countries) Base • 7 days (Italy) +8% • 6 days (France) +6% • 24 hours (G, P, Esp) +30% • On the spot? + 100%
Under reporting • Under-reporting of road traffic injury is a major problem in Developing countries and virtually all countries of the world. • About 200 000 people died on African roads in 2002,and probably many more but we do not have an accurate picture because of the problem of under-reporting.
Challenges Ctnd An example of reporting status in developed countries.
Mean level of accident reporting by injury severity for a number of countries
What can we do? Political will and commitment are important for sustainable prevention of road traffic injuries. France managed to cut the number of car fatalities by 32 percent, from 8,162 in 2001 to 5,530 in 2004. "The issue was one of the key goals in the pre-election campaign by Jacques Chirac in 2002 and the results achieved after his election prove that national governments really can do a lot within a short time if they really want to," said a commission official.
What about USAID, SIDA,DANIDA, CIDA, JICA etc….. Development agencies need to place road safety in Developing countries and elsewhere at the centre of the global agenda along with the institutional, political, economic, and social issues which make roads so dangerous. Monitoring and Evaluation of these investments is key to success.
Proposed Solutions Road traffic safety should be prioritized at a global level Change in rank order of DALYs for the 10 leading causes of the global burden of disease
Propositions • Trainings for Safety experts should be stepped up. • Governments need to emphasize & prioritize the Engineering measures ahead of Enforcement and Education. • Traffic safety levels should be International determinants when allocating international meetings to countries.
Road Safety Audits need to be emphasized Stage 1 - Feasibility/Initial design Stage 2 - Preliminary design Stage 3 - Detailed design Stage 4 - Opening Stage 5 - Monitoring
Organization of Audit work Client Design Team Audit Team
Traffic safety is a very multidisciplinary activity • Psychologists * Physicists • Behavioural scientists * Police • Sociologists * Biomechanics • Social psychologists * Statisticians • Civil Engineers * Mathematicians • Mechanical Engineers * Comm. experts • Electrical Engineers * Architects • Town planners • All these players have to take part.
Proposed Role of the National Road Safety Council in Uganda Safer Road User Behavior Reduction & Prevention of Accidents Survival of Accidents victims Engineering/ Environment Education and Publicity Safer Roads NRSC Enforcement Emergency Medical Services Safer Vehicles
Recommendations • Real progress can be made if development agencies and governments deal realistically with this context. • Road safety is no accident: it is the result of deliberate efforts by many sectors of society, both governmental and non-governmental, that have acknowledged it to be an important and valuable public good and have developed policies and programs to support and maintain it.
The US The United States has a direct interest in improving road safety overseas both from a humanitarian point of view and also because several hundred American citizens die in overseas road crashes every year with many taking place in Africa. • The United States as a leader in traffic safety technology provides assistance to the developing world to reduce traffic-related fatalities and to save lives • Source: US Department of Transportation