Ethiopia: Factors That Pose Traffic Accidents, Their Remedy

According to studies, the drivers' behaviors and the technical status of the vehicles are the formidable factors, which cause traffic accidents. In addition, the status of the road and its disagreeableness are responsible to the apparent fatality.

When we talk about transport security what first popes up to our mind is the design of the road. Therefore, before beginning the road construction work paying attention to the design is essential.

Engineer Abebe Solomon is Design Management Directorate Director of The Ethiopian Road Authority (ERA).

As to him, in order to prepare designs for construction of roads, there are vital elements that should be taken in to account. Particularly there is a need to study whether the geographic landscape of the area affects the security of the road or not. There is safety standard auditor. After the completion of the design safety audit will be carried out.

Drivers have an obligation to drive their cars at the required speed. The speed restriction is prepared when the design work takes place. When the chuffers drive as per the restricted speed accidents can plummet to zero level.

When the design is prepared, human behavior and the technical status of the vehicles are taken in to account. The preparation does not take the technically unfit vehicles as a benchmark. It considers that, only the standardized vehicles use the road.

When the driver abide by driving rules and respect the sign posts by the roadsides possible accidents can nosedive.

Though roads are well constructed based on the correct design, accidents are growing from time to time. There are also identified roads where accidents are recurring. The Addis Ababa ring roads can substantiate the case in point.

Why this happens?

Enginner Genet Alemayehu is ERA's director of the Directorate of the Social and Environmental Labor Security . As to her, the traffic accident records of the nation is not accessible to both researchers and design professionals either the format.

The record has numerous values and when recorded accidents occur repeatedly on a specific roads, reaching at a solution will be possible.

There are so many reasons responsible for the occurrence of accidents, and among others, lightening, darkening, precipitation of the place, dryness can be mentioned here.

In addition, whether the traffic marks are visible or not and also whether the advanced age of the driver pose accident must be examined and recorded. Because doing this helps to suggest solutions to the problems. It should be known that, drivers are not the only responsible ones for the occurrence of traffic accidents.

If there is no traffic mark on the curve, it should be installed or if there was mistake in design preparation, the curve must be adjusted. If the task of installing redline, traffic mark or speed breaker on the road is necessary it should be done. The experience shows that, thenone availability of traffic accident record has been a loophole for upgrading the roads.

In fact, improving design for making the road more viable needs knowledge, technology and finance. If there is no capacity to do so struggling with obsolete roads will be an option.

Engineer Abraham Abdela is from the same institution mentioned above. He is the Director of the Road Security and Data Base Directorate. He said that, the road security situation begins from road design.

With regard to maintaining road security a coordinated effort is needed in designing, constructing, opening the road to traffic and administering things step by step.

The designing work must consider the land scape of the place including the upward and downward steepness of the road and curves.

Constructing the road depends on the contractor's capacity and the time when the nation begins to benefit from cutting-edge technology of improving design and constructing viable road.

For example, currently when road is constructed in the mountainous areas the construction is carried out through crossing various curves. But in the highly advanced countries, the construction of roads in the mountainous areas is carried out through making tunnel because the availability of modern technology enables them to do so.

Hence, this indicates that, improving design goes in line with possessing better technology. But for the time being strictly observing traffic rules and checking traffic marks installed in several places whether they are visible or not is essential. After the opening of a road for traffic, proper management of the road helps to minimize potential accidents.

Though it may not be as required, the transport authority in coordination with the city traffic office is studying and identifying roads with frequent accidents. And improvements have been carried out. The five roads which leads to the outskirt of the city can be mentioned here.

Yimer Husien is from the same institution. He is the Director of the Roads Pillar Directorate. He said that, in addition to minimizing road accident through scrutinizing design before construction, errors, which surfaces during implementation, and that have not been foreseen during the design must be addressed. Tthe roads has to be redesigned.

For example, if a sharp curve is not seen during the designing, the shortcoming will be addressed by the Asset Management Department. Design is not simply a readymade matter rather it is a task subject to revision.

After the completion of the road construction paying attention to the road markings is essential. As they are marked by paintings, through time, they might fed and become invisible to drivers and travelers. Installed signposts could also fall down because of car accidents.

The responsibility in replacing the damaged marks is to the Asset Management Department. Currently, to maintain road marks branch offices are opened in five districts in Shashemene, Diredawa, Sodo Nekemte and Desi. They are doing their jobs. In addition to this, putting the culprits that are responsible for the damage on road marks under legal liability is underway.

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