Traffic safety week attempts to raise awareness

Even though there have been many measures taken to decrease traffic accidents in Ethiopia the problem seems to be getting worse every day.

Ethiopia remains the country with the highest car accident rate. There is a visible lack of education about traffic safety for the public and problems with enforcing traffic regulations continue.
Traffic Safety Awareness Week is held from April 12 to 18  at the Ethio-Cuba friendship square. The event is organized with the collaboration of the Addis Ababa City Administration Road and Transport Bureau, Addis Ababa Police Commission, Addis Ababa City Roads Authority, Transport Authority and Letarik advertising.
The event will showcase cars that have been totally destroyed from accidents as well as a chilling photographic exhibition of accident scenes. Pictures will also be shown at cinemas throughout Addis Ababa in order to better reach the general public to remind them that, while they have fun, they should keep in mind the devastating consequences of traffic accidents.   
A press conference about car safety week was held on Thursday April 5th at Radisson Blu Hotel where it was emphasized that most accidents happen due to speeding and changing lanes without warning. Studies show that most fatalities occur because of not being able to get quick medical attention. 
“The problem will not be solved fully but it is possible to reduce it massively. It just needs everybody’s cooperation,” said Dereje Wolde Yohannes, director of Addis Ababa City Administration Road and Transport Bureau.
Working to decrease traffic accidents is not new; we have been getting information out on the radio, talking about how people can prevent accidents and how important it is to follow the rules of the road.  There are also large posters everywhere reminding people to be careful. Although great strides have been taken in the awareness campaign to date, results show there is still a very long way to go.
“Most people think that the major cause of accidents are roads that are in poor condition such as bumpy roads but in fact straight, well made, highways are more likely to cause more accidents because that is where people tend to speed,” Fekade Haile, Manager of Addis Ababa City Roads Authority said. 
In 2011, 332 people were killed and 1,735 injured on Ethiopia’s roads and properties worth 45.73 million birr were damaged from car accidents. The first six months of this fiscal year’s report shows 186 fatalities, 1040 injuries and 19.21 million birr worth of property damage.