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The Addis Ababa City Administration is concerned about the large number of traffic accidents; so they plan to construct and expand sidewalks in hopes of reducing accidents by 30 percent within the next three years.
In the 2016 a total of 463 accidents occurred in Addis and they hope to lower this number to 324 by the end of 2020, while diminishing the total fatality rate from the current 13.8/100,000 in to 9.6 /100,000.
They also hope to reduce drunk driving incidents, and speeders by 50 percent. They plan to spend 8.5 billion birr to implement the plan.
Seven steps will be made toward implementing this goal. They will develop a road safety management system, focus on main roads, prioritize pedestrians, enforce key safety laws, raise safety awareness and improve the crash response system. In addition to the three year action plan, they also hope to decrease traffic fatalities 50 percent by 2023.
Abate Sitotaw, Deputy Mayor of the city and chair of Addis Ababa Road Safety Council said during the rollout ceremony at Sheraton Addis on September 6, “Road safety is a shared responsibility, achieving lasting change requires that the government, industry and community work together. I would like to urge the heads of safety council’s member institutes to commit themselves and discharge their responsibilities diligently. Moreover I would like to urge all public and private bodies and citizens, individually and collectively, to dedicate themselves and share responsibility for achieving the objective of this implementation plan.’’
The action plan intends to break the chain between economic growth and road trauma, linking safe driving and economic growth. It also seeks to emphasizing the importance of driving safely and improving the transportation system.
Research indicates that improving walking areas would improve safety. Walking is the dominant mode of travel in Addis Ababa, at 70 percent, compared to 26 percent for public transport and only four percent for privatized transport. Even if people take public transportation they frequently walk between stops.
The Addis Ababa Police Commission’s data indicates that 63 percent of vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents were commercial vehicles like taxies and buses that people use for public transportation and trucks.