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Addis Ababa registered 257,098 traffic offenses and a loss of 2,464 lives in the last six months alone. The damage to property is estimated to be above 81 million birr.
Over loading, double parking and parking on contoured roads as well as over speeding are the frequently occurring violations that are causing high causalities.
Young men made so many violations according to traffic statistics. Out of the total law breakers, 136,395 of them were young men whose ages are between 18 and 30, while 98, 361 were adult men aged between 31 and 50 years.
Offenders bearing third grade drivers’ license count 127,364 and next to them 86,001 second grade licensed drivers made the fouls. The 15,217 heavy truck drivers made the third line of wrongdoers.
Harsh criticisms are thrown at the Federal Transport Authority who introduces a new system of licensing. This system allows any person to have a license of any grade she/he wants outright given that she/he passed the theoretical and practical screenings. Amdeselesse Tarkegne, a dweller of Addis said, “We see young motorists who drive heavy trucks without having the experience and they are killing many people, but the authorities doesn’t care that people are dying.’’
Abelneh Agedew, Public Relation Head of the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) refuted that the new license issuance system is the major reason behind traffic accidents.
“There is no traffic evidence that shows all accidents were committed by drivers who get a license under the new system. We are following a system that is applied in many countries. We give the license to people who demonstrate their fitness to drive.”
Abelneh indicated the transport authority is working with traffic police to determine the reasons for those escalated accidents. The transport authority has organized a task force to investigate whether there is a technical defect on Sino trucks, a heavy duty vehicle that is commonly associated with atrocious accidents. “Some drivers attribute Sinotruck has a technical glitch. However, the manufacturers’ technicians confirmed the tuck is driven globally and it has no technical snag. But to prevent accidents from happening, we made the task force conduct an assessment,” Abelneh mentioned the actions being taken.
Sergeant Chief Assefa Mezgebu, Public Relations Officer of the Addis Ababa City Traffic Police criticized drivers of negligent driving.
“Some drivers don’t learn from others. They hear on media that people are dying because of reckless drivers but they make those same mistakes, killing pedestrians and passengers. Now the solution is not awareness giving. Banning licenses of repetitive traffic law breakers, imposing hefty fines and imprisonment must be instated,” the sergeant calls for very serious measures to be taken.
The sergeant also added that pedestrians should respect street codes to save their lives.
Last year, 390 deaths and 1,454 serious injuries had reportedly occurred in Addis Ababa from traffic accidentsg