The Oromia Transport Agency (OTA) will issue new driving licenses as of September 2012, in order to reduce traffic accidents that took the lives of 893 people last year.
Oromia Transport Agency (OTA) is reinforcing its already strong traffic measures in order to reduce the high toll of road accidents in the New Year starting on September 11, 2012.
These accidents, the 12th most important killers globally, rank ninth in Ethiopia according to a 2011 World Health Organisation (WHO) report. Fatalities related to it in Ethiopia have a proportion of 70 to 100 for every 10,000 vehicles, according to another study by the Swedish medical university, which indicated that on average every five accidents kill one person.
Federal statistics data indicate that 6,000 people have either been killed or injured by traffic accidents, which also caused 10,000 property damages in 2011/12.
Oromia's share in this was significant, accounting for 893 (51.2pc) of the 1,734 road traffic deaths, 665 (30.5pc) of the serious injuries, 770 (30pc) of the slight injuries, and 1,687 property damages according to the CSA's data.
The state, which has already imposed a 2,000 Br fine on people driving three wheel taxis without license, commonly known as Bajaj, will issue new licenses for everyone as of September in order to control illegal licences, says Dagnachew Shiferaw, head of the OTA. Licensed drivers will also be given refresher training regarding speed, distance and axle tolerance to heat.
"We have previously trained some 70,000 existing drivers," Dagnachew said. "We will subsequently advance it beginning from September."
Oromia has already banned two driving training schools for incompetency. The construction of a drivers' training centre, which was started at an outlay of 41 million Br two years ago in Adama, will also be completed in 2012/13 fiscal year. The centre will be fitted with equipments budgeted to cost 40 million Br, according to Dagnachew. Its services will then have minimal human interference.
The agency has also just completed preconditions to plant radar speed signs on the main roads. That, according to Dagnachew, could shortly be followed by speed control devices that will be fitted to vehicles.
The Agency will also strengthen the enforcement of existing rules, says Yaekob Belay, head of OTA's Traffic Safety Unit, who said that law enforcers from the OTA and the traffic police were being physically attacked by drivers and their assistants and even being hit by vehicles when they were trying to control nocturnal driving.
Yacob added that disturbing accidents were being caused by vehicles made for the transport of goods being used for public transport; some drivers also lacked knowledge of how long distance and high speed could affect their axles.
The Ethiopian Police records show that between 2003 and 2007, at least 76pc of fatal accidents were due to drivers' errors, six per cent due to vehicle defects, five per cent due to pedestrian errors, two per cent due to road defects and the balance due to other causes. But the OTA data reveals that 81pc of the fatalities are due to drivers errors, five per cent due to vehicles defects, four per cent due to pedestrians, one per cent due to road defects and nine per cent due to other defects.
SPECIAL TO FORTUNE