This literature review of road safety in Africa has been organised by the main road safety sectors. South Africa's references were provided by TRL's local counterpart, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and they are included at the end of each section. This avoided the risk of the road safety work in South Africa overwhelming the rest of the region's efforts.
The first source for the literature review was the IRRD database which contains references from over 30 institutes and organisations from 25 countries and includes references in English, German, Spanish and French. IRRD is reported to receive approximately 10,000 references each year and is updated on a monthly basis. The literature review was limited to those references published in the past decade and it was decided not to include the 1989 Second African Road Safety Conference. A few key older reports were included, such as UNECA's 1989 Road Safety manual on Low Cost Engineering Countermeasures which remains a practical reference.
Articles were also identified from Conference Proceedings, including that of the 1997 Third African Road Safety Congress, TRL project files and from the personal libraries of colleagues.
One of the World Bank's Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program's Working Papers, Assum's Road Safety in Africa: Appraisal of Road Safety Initiatives in Five African Countries reviewed the institutional framework as well as the activities undertaken in each country. All five countries (Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe had national road safety coordinating bodies and while the roles and names may have differed, they shared the same main problems including funding and technical skill shortages which hindered implementation. The national road safety programmes were also summarised and the short and long term effects assessed (Assum, 1998).
The conditions for sustainable road safety work were described as: competence, political priority, funding, implementation, organisation, monitoring and evaluation, and time with political priority seen as the primary requirement which can facilitate the delivery of the other requirements.
This Working Paper concluded with a call for an African Road Safety Initiative, previously discussed at the Third African Road Safety Congress. Building on the success of the Road Maintenance Initiative which led to the introduction of road funds and private sector participation in road maintenance and rehabilitation programmes, an African Road Safety Initiative was recommended to use the same guiding principles: ownership, financing, responsibility, and management (Assum, 1998).
Examples of national approaches to road safety management, including several National Road Safety Councils, are summarised below.
A National Road Safety Committee was established in 1974 under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It was handicapped by the lack of a full-time executive although the situation should be changed now due to recent legislation which upgraded it to a National Road Safety Commission. A review of the activities undertaken by the previous Committee and the constraints it faced, including a lack of funding, were presented at the 1997 Third African Road Safety Congress (Kwayke et al, 1997).
The National Road Safety Commission Act 1999 should establish an independent Commission with its secretariat headquarters based in Accra and a regional road safety officer in each region to facilitate national coordination. The Commission will also benefit from an allocation from the Road Fund (approximately US$300,000) for the year 2000 but this funding is dependent on the Commission developing an Action Plan that is accepted. Discussions have also begun about the introduction of a safety levy on insurance premiums (Ross, Nov.1999).
The road safety management structure in Nigeria was reviewed at a 3-day national workshop in 1997. This led to the establishment of a Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in 1998, which has been described as operating a 3 tier system:
In 1997, there were approximately 8,000 Special Marshalls operating nationwide and the FRSC described its approach as that of "precaution, education, subtle force and full enforcement".
The French Ministry for Cooperation and the French Ministry of Transport collaborated on the implementation of a road safety policy in West Africa. The French had already introduced a system of sharing information within the sub-region and were using pilot projects to demonstrate best practice. Starting with a national road safety seminar in 1993, Senegal was chosen for the road safety pilot project. Locally identified priorities included improving the crash data system, driver training, awareness raising activities, and vehicle inspection. The activities undertaken for each of these areas were described in a presentation (Bodon, 1997). After developing a standardised report form, a training programme in crash reporting procedures was undertaken in the 10 regional capitals. Two local computer analysts were trained in France and computerisation of crash data begun in 1994.
The effectiveness of the project was evaluated in 1997 at a follow-up seminar which was attended by Mali, Burkino Faso and Guinea. These countries subsequently adopted some of the initiatives in their own countries.
Botswana's National Road Safety Committee is arguably one of the most successful in Africa and is very successful in terms of publicity and education initiatives. Established in 1975, it is supported by some 27 District Road Safety Committees which were introduced in 1983 and are who are usually headed by the District Commissioner.
Established in 1971, the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board had 6 offices in 5 towns and was financed by a grant from the Ministry of Transportation. In 1999, the ZTSB had a total staff of 45, including 25 road safety officers, of which 9 had been trained. ZTSB is very active in raising public awareness of road safety and it runs school visits, cycle training, safety weeks, publicity campaigns, etc.
The present National Road Safety Council in Zambia was established by an Act of Parliament in December 1995 but it did not receive any funding until January 1997, when it was allocated a quarter of the amount its predecessor, the Roads and Road Traffic Board (RRTB) had received. Public sector representation was limited with the public sector representatives not even allowed to vote. The Council did not include a representative of the Ministry of Health but there was a representative from the Zambia Medical Council.
A 1997 World Bank funded study reviewed the road safety situation in Zambia, including the effectiveness of the National Road Safety Council and drafted a 2 year action plan (Aeron-Thomas, 2000). The World Bank has since allocated the National Road Safety Council US$500,000 for institutional strengthening of the Council and is also financing the upgrading of the crash data system and training of traffic police.
Established in 1973, the National Road Safety Council of Tanzania was under the Prime Minister's Office until 1990 when it was transferred to the Minister for Home Affairs (the Ministry responsible for Road Traffic). The Council was established with both advisory and executive functions, the latter including the provision of road user education and information campaigns and the identification of hazardous locations. In 1986, four committees were created and the Traffic Police Commander was made the Secretary to the Council with his office functioning as the Secretariat. Regional and District Traffic Police Officers were to be the Secretaries of any Regional or District Road Safety Committees (Ministry of Works, 1996).
The Council has organised Road Safety Weeks at the national level but these were limited for various reasons including lack of funding, coordination and accountability, a top heavy council, and low priority allocated road safety by Traffic Police Commander. A new structure for the Council was proposed, including the transfer of responsibility to the Ministry of Works, with both the advantages and disadvantages reviewed (Ministry of Works, 1996). Funding sources were also proposed and included a US$2 dollar levy per motor vehicle per annum.
At a recent seminar on Road Safety, a paper discussed the relevance of the Highway Safety Management System (SMS) for Tanzania. (Chobya, 1999). A SMS involves a systematic approach to identifying and addressing all opportunities to reduce highway crashes. The associated activities within the four E's (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services) were presented as was an example of a SMS database system.
Namibia has recently adopted an integrated traffic safety management system after realising that its post independence (1989) approach to traffic safety, where responsibility was given to a secretariat in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, was incapable of delivering adequate priority to traffic safety. It was appreciated that a holistic integrated systems approach was needed but that the traffic management systems approach adopted in South Africa was not suitable as it focused more on traffic management and a Traffic Safety Management System (TSMS) was needed for Namibia.
A core group was established from the various safety disciplines and focused on the issues identified as key:
A process approach was adopted which reviewed each key issue area and its effects, relevant countermeasures and the recommended projects. The approach was described as being similar to that used in South Africa for the Traffic Management System but the focus was kept to traffic safety.
A draft Green Paper on traffic safety was produced in early 1997 for discussion purposes and a National Policy on Traffic Safety for Namibia was expected to be submitted to the National Road Safety Council at the end of 1997 for approval (Prosser and Pretorius, 1997). A TSMS Management committee was established to assist with the implementation of policy and four Work Groups (Engineering, Education, Law Enforcement, and Logistical Support) were also organised to develop work programmes. Priority areas included marketing and mass communication, alcohol and other drugs abuse, speed management, overloading problem, taxi's, driver training, seat belt wearing, a forgiving road environment and vulnerable road users (Prosser and Pretorius, 1997).
The responsibilities of the National Road Safety Council in Uganda (as per the Traffic and Road Safety Act of 1998) are similar to that of Tanzania's as were the major constraints of funding and training. A 3 year Action Plan proposed for the country included the formation of a Road Safety Unit to provide technical support to the NRSC. The staff, office and administrative costs of such a unit were recommended to be met by a fixed annual budget (Phoenix, 2000).
South Africa abolished it NRSC in the early 1990s and has relied on the Directorate of Traffic Safety within the Department of Transport to coordinate road safety activities. Many papers and presentations have discussed road safety management as shown below with the national approach discussed before any regional case studies.
Road traffic management strategy
This paper provides a summarised broad description towards implementation of the nineteen chapters of road traffic management strategy and includes additional issues provided for in the chapter on "Road Traffic and Safety" in the White Paper on National Transport Policy of the national Department of Transport (Botha, G, Sep-97).
The Road Traffic Management Corporation
The current road traffic management picture in South Africa is very gloomy and innovative ways have to found to get out of this perilous situation. To achieve the improvements required, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) concept was developed. This paper discusses the objectives, fuctions, duties, financing etc of the Corporation(Van Tonder, H, Jul-99).
Towards a quantitative management approach to road traffic
safety in South Africa
To successfully reduce the number of road traffic accidents in South Africa it is essential that limited resources be utilized as effectively and efficiently as possible. This requires that correct decisions be made on required resource levels and on the correct allocation of these resources to the different possible remedial measures. The objective of this paper is to describe how a quantitative management model could be constructed to assist road safety managers and investors in managing road safety in the most efficient way possible (Mollett, CJ, Jul-99).
Task and place of training colleges for traffic officials
The traffic occupations have a lack of specialised training and for this reason the traffic officers experiences difficulty performing his task in a professional manner. This is also one of the reasons why this occupation enjoys less social esteem in this country. This paper a training system and its components are discussed (Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, J, Sep-99).
Safety south of the Sahara: lessons from abroad
It is found that whenever road traffic accident statistics are related to vehicle population, third world countries tend to have a significant worse accident statistics than those in first world countries. An obvious question arising is: Are there any lessons to be learned from the "safer" first world countries that could be of benefit to sub-Saharan Africa? This paper describes certain aspects of an investigation that was made into the road safety situation in a wide cross-section of countries in order to address the above question(Roebuck, CS, Sep-99).
Strategy 2000 - a end to carnage on South Africa's Roads
A discussion document towards a comprehensive road safety strategy, including detailed implementation tables of short to medium term actions (South Africa. Ministry of Transport, Apr-00).
Pedestrian management plans: the role of provinces and local
authorities to reduce pedestrian casualties in South Africa
An audit of the current pedestrian safety situation in terms of the infrastructure provision, law enforcement and educational practices has been completed. This status quo forms the basis from which a pedestrian management plan will evolve and constitute the way forward (Makhanya, G, Sep-99).
Preparing traffic safety managers for the new millennium:
an application of the outcomes based education model
A new national diploma has been developed to address Traffic Safety Management on an integrated basis. It is envisaged that traffic police and others in the field of traffic safety would be sufficiently equipped with the skills needed to enhance road safety management. The course was developed to be outcome based and the subjects were divided into modules which would address prior learning in terms of the National Qualifications Framework. (Van Vuuren, PEJ , Jul-99).
The implementation of a road safety management plan for
Midrand Metropolitan Local Council
This paper describes the content of the Proposed Road Safety Management Plan for Midrand and the strategy adopted for its implementation. The town engineers and Traffic Departments of Midrand Metropolitan Local Council have joined forces with the South African Police Services stations in the Midrand area to form a Road Safety Working Group. This group has prepared a strategy for the implementation of a Road Safety Management Plan in support of the national drive to improve road safety issues in South Africa (Prinsloo, JJA, Jul-99).
Project Asiphephe - implementation
The Asiphephe "Let us be safe" road safety project is a long-term road safety program that is aimed at reducing road traffic accident fatalities by 50% by the end of the year 2000. This paper provides a short discussion of the project (Zulu, ME, Jul-99).
Asiphephe: from planning to implementation
In KwaZulu-Natal the Department of Transport has adopted a methodology based on the road safety strategy used so successfully in the Australian State of Victoria. The project, now termed Asiphephe (let us be safe) has moved from the planning phase to the implementation phase. This paper concentrates on the practical aspects of the implementation strategy and successes to date (Barker, RJ, Sep-99).
Implementing an integrated road traffic safety program in
The Australian state of Victoria's integrated road safety program has achieved large reductions in road trauma, massive economic savings to the community, substantial net revenue from fines and has lowered the costs of penalty management. This paper identifies the key elements of the Victorian model and elaborates the principles underlying the key elements of traffic law enforcement and mass media public awareness campaigns as they are being implemented in KwaZulu-Natal (Smith, RR , Sep-99).
Project Victoria in KwaZulu-Natal
The number of road accidents, with resultant injuries and deaths, on South African roads is unacceptably high. A project was implemented to improve the level of road traffic safety. This paper describes the procedures and methodology adopted by the authorities in implementing a sophisticated road traffic safety system into the broad spectrum of cultures and driving expertise found in KwaZulu-Natal (Barker, RJ, Sep-97).
The Balgowan traffic safety management project
The high accident and fatality rate on our roads is of national concern. A section of the N3 in the vicinity of Balgowan had a particularly poor accident record. This paper describes the approach adopted to investigate the accident problems at Balgowan. Remedial measures have been implemented and the project has been successful in reducing the number and severity of accidents on this section of the N3 (Deppe, EE, Sep-97).
Evaluation of road safety initiatives in KwaZulu-Natal between
April 1997 and September 1999
The report evaluates the road safety initiatives implemented in KwaZulu-Natal since the inception of the Asiphephe Road Safety Programme. The programme is based on a customised version of the model successfully used in Victoria, Australia to reduce road casualties. The main issues covered in the report are: an overview of the Asiphephe Project, the approach and objectives of the evaluation process, the methodology followed, an evaluation of national and provincial structures to promote road traffic safety, an evaluation of the co-ordination of road safety programmes by the different agencies in KwaZulu-Natal and the evaluaton of the effectiveness of the implementation of road safety measures within the key organisations responsible for road safety in KwaZulu-Natal. A number of recommendations are offered (Asiphephe Evaluation Panel, Oct-99).
Traffic management - a systems approach: Lower South Coast
experiment - An opinion and awareness study in 1994
Attention was given to the opinions of the public with regard to traffic law enforcement, engineering measures, ambulance and rescue services. The awareness of DTS projects, the availability of traffic safety educational material in schools and the awareness of the Experiment itself were also investigated (Cronje, CPR J, Jun-96).
The Knysna micro traffic management plan - an opinion and
The objectives of this research were to determine the opinions of the public with regard to traffic law enforcement, traffic engineering measures, the environment and emergency services as well as their awareness of traffic safety educational projects and aids (Cronje, CPR, Nov-94).
KwaZulu road traffic safety study
This report provides information on road traffic collisions and casualties in KwaZulu, identifies problems in the collision reporting system and identifies short-, medium and long-term road traffic safety priorities. Recommendations are made towards improving the road traffic safety environment in KwaZulu (Van Niekerk, EC, Mar-92).
Lebowa road traffic safety study
The study provides the Lebowa Road Traffic Safety Committee with a proper data base on road traffic collisions and casualties. It also identifies the short, medium and long term road traffic aspects which should be attended to by the Committee. It consists of three sections: the trends in road traffic collisions and casualties since 1985 are analysed; a detailed analysis is done in respect of road traffic collisions and casualties during 1989 and hazardous road sections are identified and appropriate countermeasures are recommended (Ribbens, H, Dec-90).
Quality control: practical manual and implementation
The use of quality control for seven different models, namely seat belt wearing and alcohol drinking rates, speed, stop street and traffic signal infringements, visibility and following distances (Elphinstone, CD, Oct-90).
Financing of road safety activities was one of the priority areas identified in the Second United Nations Transport and Communications Decade in Africa (UNTACDA II), covering the period 1991-2000 (ECA, 1997), yet few funding references were found. A general review of road safety financing was presented at the most recent African Road Safety Conference (Wetteland and Lundebye, 1997).
The two basic methods of self-financing and development aid financing were also summarised (Dhliwayo, 1997).
Government grants are the main source of funding for road safety activities (traffic policing, traffic signs and hospital treatment, etc.) but this is still found to be insufficient, especially in the areas outside road maintenance and construction (Assum 1997). As of 1997, Ghana's National Road Safety Council was receiving less than US$10,000 a year from the government (Kwake et al, 1997) for its operation and publicity activities. Insufficient financing was found in other countries as well with Zimbabwe receiving less than one fourth its requested amount in 1997 (total of $5.1 million instead of $24 million) and the case of Zambia has already been described. In Uganda, the government spent US$300 million on road rehabilitation in a recent decade, but less than US$ 0.05 per head per annum is spent on road safety publicity and education (Kwamusi, 1996).
In Zimbabwe, in addition to maintaining the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board and its activities, the government also used to subsidise defensive driving courses to make them more affordable for drivers. In Zambia, the government has occasionally provided the fuel for the mobile patrols conducted by the Honorary Road Marshalls, private citizens who are authorised to assist in traffic law enforcement (Ross, 1999).
Of the five countries in Africa with road funds, none have a dedicated amount for road safety work and Ethiopia and Ghana are the only countries known where the Road Fund regulations specifically mention road safety measures. This has not resulted in increased road safety investment with the only road safety related activity being financed by the Road Fund so far to be the rehabilitation of traffic signs in Addis Ababa (TRL, 2000). The Road Fund Board in Ethiopia also rejected the idea of reserving 1-2 per cent of the Road Fund for road safety measures.
The Road Fund in Ghana has recently agreed to allocate US$300,000 to the new National Road Safety Commission after it develops an acceptable action plan (Ross, Nov. 1999). While the majority of road safety programmes are funded through bilateral or multi-lateral aid, self-financing is receiving more attention since the introduction of road funds. Botswana has had a levy (5 Pula per motor vehicle) paid annually by all users/owners of cars living in or visiting the country. Benin is also reported to contribute to the cost of road safety programmes from vehicle inspection fees.
User fees were proposed to become the long term financial source for road safety work in Tanzania, including:
A share of the traffic fines collected has been requested reserved for road safety in several countries, including Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. No country in Africa is believed to receive any part of the income received from traffic fines for safety measures (unlike Vietnam where traffic fines are allocated to road safety work). There has been progress with overloading fines being allocated to Road Funds in some countries (including Ethiopia although this has yet to be enforced). In Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Education has recently been allowed to keep school fees so there is a precedent for hypothecation of traffic fines. In Zambia, the Transport has requested a portion of the traffic fines imposed by road inspectors be allocated to road inspectors.
The potential role of the insurance companies in sponsoring road safety was highlighted at the recent Third African Road Safety Congress with the example of Switzerland where 1 per cent of motor vehicle insurance premiums is collected by the Government and allocated to road safety (Dhliwayo, 1997). South Africa and Benin are the only countries known in Africa where motor vehicle insurance premiums contribute regularly to road safety activities.
The National Road Safety Commission Act 1999 in Ghana includes provision for a levy on mandatory third party insurance and the Insurance Commissioner has agreed in principle to funding road safety activities from motor vehicle insurance premiums (Ross, Nov. 1999).
Donors have financed almost all major road safety programmes in Africa. This includes Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Togo, Malawi, and Ghana. The example of Togo is presented here where a World Bank financed road safety project (1991-95) team included members of the German Road Safety Council and sought the close involvement of Togolese experts. Some of the outputs included:
No specific references on funding of road safety in South Africa were identified. As discussed in the next section, South Africa currently funds both compensation and prevention activities from motor vehicle insurance.
Almost all countries in Africa are believed to have mandatory third party insurance requirements for motor vehicles. Eritrea and Ethiopia are two exceptions although in Ethiopia, a Working Committee has recently been formed to reconsider introducing compulsory third party insurance.
Harmonisation of regional motor vehicle insurance legislation has been a priority for both the Southern African Development Corporation (SADC) and the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA). In 1999, a SADC/COMESA Regional Workshop on Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance (Yellow Card Scheme) discussed the Model Motor Vehicle Insurance Act with the following recommendations:
Three subjects considered for harmonisation which were not included in the Model Act were:
At present, fault based systems dominate the insurance industry in Africa and there was little local interest in converting to a no-fault system. Eritrea and Ethiopia are believed to be the only COMESA members which require the driver to prove he is not at fault (COMESA, 1998). The Yellow Card scheme does include mandatory medical insurance coverage (#7) without proof of fault and Botswana allows for the funeral expenses for child fatalities (14 years or younger).
Five SADC countries fund mandatory third party bodily injury compensation from their fuel levy. This system ensures that all motorists are insured. Cost is related to risk with vehicle kilometres travelled and fuel consumption the proxy for risk. The main problem encountered with this system is that compensation claims have tended to exceed revenues and governments do not want to increase fuel levies. In 1998, Botswana responded to this problem by introducing a ceiling on compensation of 1 million pula.
Hit and run victims are guaranteed compensation in only a few African countries. In Zimbabwe, a fund for victims of hit and run and uninsured vehicles is paid for by a levy on insurers. Uganda introduced a similar fund in 1988 but it lasted less than three years. Hit and run victims are eligible for compensation in Swaziland but with a much lower ceiling. In four countries, fuel levy funds finance compensation to victims of unidentified vehicles. Standard requirements include the crash being reported to the police (SADC/COMESA, 1999).
The COMESA Yellow Card Compendium was produced in 1998 and provides much information on the insurance system within 17 countries. The scheme included medical expenses for drivers and passengers and in the event of a collision, the only requirement (re compensation) is that it is reported to the police (COMESA, 1998).
While the insurance industry has collaborated on the Yellow Card Scheme, there is not believed to be a similar organisation to the Loss Prevention Association in India or the Insurance Association for Highway Safety in the United States for promoting road safety awareness among the general public.
Mandatory third party insurance was introduced in South Africa in 1942 and in 1986 the Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund Act of 1986 authorised the system where third party insurance was funded through a fuel levy. The current system was revised under the Road Accident Fund Act of 1996. (Road Accident Fund, 1997).
Many government inquiries have been undertaken into the motor vehicle insurance system with draft white papers circulated for public discussion (Director-General Transport 1996, 1997). The White Paper on the Road Accident Fund, published in early 1998, reviewed the weaknesses of the current system and the different options, including limiting compensation, and introducing no-fault insurance. (Government Gazette, 1998).
Community participation can be found as far back as some of the early establishment of African NRSCs. Botswana has had service clubs on its NRSC since its formation in 1975 and Tanzania's NRSC (1977) included a representative from an organisation for accident victims (Assum, 1998). In Zambia, the NRSC (see table above) is comprised primarily of non-government organisations and includes the Passenger, Pedestrian and Cyclist Association.
As donor-assisted and nationally led, i.e. top-down, road safety programmes prove difficult to sustain, there is renewed appreciation of the need for community support, especially at the local level. At the Third African Road Safety Congress (1997), there were three related presentations, two on community road safety (Kwamasi Paul, de Beer, 1997) and one reviewing the role of the road safety NGOs and the World Bank's long standing policy of collaborating with NGOs (Lundebye and Ellevset, 1997). The Norwegian Society for Road Safety (NRSS), the umbrella organisation for all voluntary road safety work in Norway, was highlighted, including its functions, organisational structure and funding sources (over half from government and the rest from insurance companies, annual fees of members and Children Traffic Club membership fees). The Bangladesh experience was also summarised; a 1996 seminar on the Role of NGOs in Road Safety led to the proposal for NGO pilot projects in traffic safety education in schools, information/public awareness campaigns, transport operators, rehabilitation centres and legal aspects.
In 1996, Uganda, a sociologist and an ex police officer started the Uganda Road Safety Network (URSN) with the following objectives:
The Network has developed a project proposal which includes the activities of:
The proposal also included the management structure of the project, the work plan, and how the project would be monitored and evaluated. The constitution of the Network was also provided (Kwamasi Paul, June 1996).
The same author presented a paper at a Road Safety Seminar in Uganda (Kwamasi Paul, July 1996) which provided more details on the proposed programme, including performance targets. By the end of 1997, the following was to be achieved in the pilot area:
In addition, the programme was to have begun identifying black spots on the road network and providing road safety information to policy makers on a bi-monthly basis (Kwamasi Paul, July 1996).
Apart from Uganda, however, the only references found dedicated to community participation in road safety were from CSIR/South Africa (Vermaak, de Beers, ROBOT). In Ethiopia, Radda Barnen's draft Alternative Basic Education syllabus for non-formal education included traffic safety lessons and this initiative is discussed in Chapter 12 Traffic Safety Education for Children.
South Africa has benefited from the presence of Drive Alive, an active road victims' campaign group. Drive Alive has been instrumental in raising awareness of victims' needs and in 1998, it organised an interprofessional conference on the impact of road death and injury conducted seminars on the Impact of Road. Drive Alive is believed to be the only African (associate) member of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims.
Drive Alive has recently established a partnership with Soul City, a health based NGO in South Africa, and together, they have produced a 26 part children's television serial based on Trauma. Each episode concludes with a discussion among children and there is a book on each episode which will be distributed to every grade 7 pupil in the country. The book also comes with a reflective tie-on strip which children are encouraged to wear while walking on the road. Drive Alive and Soul City are also campaigning to have reflective material become a required part of school uniforms.
Other good examples of community support for road safety in South Africa include:
Women for Traffic Safety
In 1991, the Directorate of Traffic Safety and the Women's Bureau of South Africa collaborated on a "Women for Traffic Safety" project. The project began with a training seminar for six "ambassadors", a competition in a popular woman's magazine, and launches in two cities. A project kit was produced which included a 20 minute video produced in both Afrikaans and English, a pamphlet on road safety, a traffic safety award leaflet, and the outline of a speech which could be used by other women to promote traffic safety (Robot, January/February 1993).
Eye Sense for your License
In 1999, the South African Optometrist Association (SASO) began the campaign "Eye Sense for your License" which provided free vision screenings for the renewal of drivers' licenses. A special watermarked and numbered certificate was given with each screening, which is accepted by the traffic departments for proof that vision has been retested. This initiative reduced waiting time, allowed more regular and frequent eye checks and also helped multi-focal wearers who would have fail the eye sight checks given by the traffic department due to their equipment limitations (Robot, Winter 1999).
As mentioned previously, CSIR has also been actively promoting community safety and has published the two following papers on community safety projects underway in South Africa.
Community-driven traffic safety: the "bottom-up" approach
This paper serves to report on the development and progress to date of the Eastern Gauteng Traffic Safety Programme, a project pioneered by the Eastern Gauteng Services Council. Working with communities is a continuous learning process. This paper also serves to share years of experience in community-driven traffic safety, the "bottom-up" approach, with the traffic safety community (Salida, EE, Jul-99).
Participatory Road Safety Educational Technologies (PET):
a community-driven approach
This paper looks at the various participatory educational technologies (PET), developed by the CSIR, in a framework of a community-driven process. The process and technologies are presented and discussed as they were implemented in the community of Mamelodi. PET is a alternative methodology of teaching high school students about traffic safety. It is a dialogical, problem-posing approach that leads to action for change. The learning process of three high schools in Pretoria, in terms of PET, is discussed (Vermaak, L, Sep-99).
The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) have identified Ghana, South Africa and Zambia as 3 of its 15 focus countries for demonstrating public private partnerships in road safety.
Since 1997, the petroleum industry in Ghana has been investing in defensive driver training for industry trainers. Shell Ghana introduced the programme originally for its contractors after they were involved in 19 fatalities in 1997. Shell Ghana established a facility for defensive driver training and vehicle inspection (with the country's only brake roller tester). A comprehensive eye test is also conducted at the facility. Mobil is now also participating in the programme and the name has been changed from Shell Facility to Petroleum Road Transport Safety Limited. Over 800 drivers have now been tested and there were no road fatalities reported by any Shell transporter in 1999. There are also plans to expand the service to other petrol companies and transport firms as well as to other locations in the country.
Ghana also benefits from the presence of the Emerging Leaders for Development (ELD), an organisation which has included road safety among its social commitment for several years. The lollipop safety scheme, whereby children were assisted at pedestrian crossings, was initiated by an ELD member who also arranged private sector funding (Winnet, 2000).
In Botswana, a joint venture in Botswana has led to the first children's traffic school being built in Gaborone. Sponsorship was provided by Shell Oil Botswana, UNICEF, Aspahalt Botswana and other companies while subsequent children't traffic safety schools are reported to be provided for in the National Development Plan (Department of Road Transport and Safety, 1997).
In Harare, the private sector is sponsoring a pilot programme targetting child pedestrian safety at two schools. These schools were selected on the basis of their poor crash record. The new students in the first two years are given reflective jackets to improve their conspicuity to drivers. They are also given lessons in safe road use and their parents are given similar training, along with the proper care and maintenance of the reflective jacket.
The Road Accident Fund has been the main sponsor of South Africa's Arrive Alive campaign. Robot, the South African Department of Transport road safety quarterly magazine reported other private sector sponsorship for the December 1998/January 1999 holiday period to include:
Crash data has been a priority in many countries and on many projects as a good database is a prerequisite for a scientific and analytical approach to improving road safety. SARTTO identified the improvement of the quality of crash data among its member countries as a basic aim. At the Thirteenth SARTTO meeting in Swaziland in 1991, a TRL presentation proposed that its program Microcomputer Accident Analysis Package (MAAP) be adopted as the SARTTO standard. At the time, MAAP was about to be used in four countries, thus making it the most widespread crash data program in Africa (Baguley, 1991). The presentation included the background of the development of MAAP and a summary of some of the other locations where it was operating.
MAAP was introduced to Africa in 1986 when it was piloted in Botswana for one year before being adopted as the national standard. Crash location details were given much priority and a standardised system introduced with major towns using both a system of node numbers and grid coordinates. Kilometre posts were installed along all major interurban roads which enabled crashes to be identified by the road number, nearest kilometre post and direction to the nearest feature. With the introduction of MAAP, Botswana began identifying its crash patterns and worst locations and developing a programme of appropriate remedial measures (Baguley, 1991).
MAAP continued to expand in the 1990s and was introduced in Ghana in 1989 and Zimbabwe (1991). It is now used in a total of six African countries including Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania (Dar es Salaam only), Uganda (pilot project), Zimbabwe, Swaziland and it has been piloted in Malawi. A paper at the Third African Road Safety Congress in 1997 described the implementation and use of MAAP in these six countries. The topics covered included the background to each installation and the training undertaken, office procedures adopted, data use, institutional involvement, technical support and future developments. Findings included MAAP being more easily introduced when it was able to replace rather than merge with an existing data collection system and the conclusion that further technical support would be needed to these countries in the medium term at least (Gorell, 1997). The crash report forms are customised to local specifications and the paper included a comparison of the record formats used in each country. Zimbabwe and Swaziland had 53 fields on their report forms while Tanzania and Ghana collected 95 and 94 respectively.
Botswana produces an annual road traffic safety report to publicise the magnitude of its road crash problem. The most recent report (1997) covered the following topics:
Manual road crash reporting systems were still in use in Benin and the Ivory Coast a few years back (Assum, 1998).
All countries are believed to use police data as the source of road casualty statistics although under-reporting of road casualties is openly acknowledged in many countries (Assum, 1997, Aeron-Thomas, 2000). The extent of fatality under-reporting was considered in the recent TRL report "Estimating Global Road Fatalities" which sought to produce a practical estimate of the number of lives currently being lost to road crashes (TRL, 2000). Traditional engineering approaches had used police data, while acknowledging it to be incomplete, while the WHO had recently estimated road fatalities on a regional basis using a complex system of models and predictions. WHO had predicted as high as 170,000 lives would be lost in road crashes in Africa in 1998, a figure several times that being reported in official statistics (WHO, 1999).
South Africa is currently updating its crash data system with the introduction of the National Traffic Information System (NATIS) and TRAFMAN. Some recent crash data studies in South Africa were identified as:
Implementation of the national accident register in Gauteng
The paper provides an overview of the planing and implementation phases of the National Accident Register in Gauteng. It also highlights some of the problems encountered in the process (Arran, KM, Jul-99).
Potgieter street traffic safety project
Potgieter street has acquired a reputation as being a route known for heavy vehicle related accidents involving multiple passenger vehicles. Public outcries urged the involved authorities to investigate the extent of the traffic safety of Potgieter Street. The project team had the task of identifying the potential hazardous conditions in the street, of establishing the cause of accidents that occurred in the past years on this route and addressing these problems with solutions. This paper is a short discussion of the work and findings of the project team Van Schalkwyk, I, Sep-99).
National speed response programme: A summary of the contributing
factors to fatal collisions from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1994
The aim of the National Speed Response Programme is to identify contributing factors to fatal road traffic collisions. The purpose of this report is to determine the factors that contributed to 3050 fatal collisions investigated form 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1994 (Mynhardt, DC, Apr-95).
Traffic accidents at intersections in Cape Town
There is a growing awareness of the economic consequences of road collisions and there is a need to reduce collisions through road improvements. Urban intersections can be particularly hazardous locations within a road network. The objectives of this study were to investigate techniques for the study of collisions and to determine the effect of intersection control type on different collision types. The most important finding of the study was that the total number of collisions occurring at an intersection is not much affected by the control type and that there is not truth in the popular ideas that collisions are higher at stop controlled intersections than at signals. The study was restricted to intersections in Cape Town. Available data restricted the study to stop and signal controlled intersections only. A combination of regression and matched group analysis was used with hypothesis testing for statistical significance (Lee-Jones, KC, Jun-94).
Methods to obtain, analyse and present collision data
This report describes a pilot study conducted to assess the need for a course on: Methods to obtain, analyse and use collision data (De Beer, EJH, May-93).
The importance of safe road environment has been a consistent theme among donor agencies and international organisations. Road safety engineering is traditionally divided into the proactive crash preventive measures, which reduce the risk of crashes and reactive crash reduction measures, which address existing problem areas.
While not restricted to Africa, the then Overseas Development Administration (ODA) funded manual "Towards Safer Roads in Developing Countries; A Guide for Planners and Engineers", is still a key reference for both policy makers and engineers. Each chapter included a short introduction which was then followed by 2 page sections on key planning or design features. A standardised layout was used with examples of both bad and good practice provided. The table of contents is shown below in Table 7.1.
The Road Safety Checklists included were for land-use/physical plans, network planning, highway design, and countermeasures related activities. A checklist for a site visit to hazardous locations was provided in a separate appendix. Towards Safer Roads has served as the basis of several training courses and a slidepack is also available (TRRL, 1991).
DFID has invested in follow-up research in the cost and safety efficient design (CASE) of rural roads in developing countries. CASE is investigating the relationship between design, operating characteristics and crash rates with the objective of identifying where safety and cost can be optimised. Four of the five countries participating in the study are in Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Malawi).
Faced with the problem of roads being built to different standards, often to the road designer's national standard, many countries have revised their Geometric Design Standards in the last few years. The first comprehensive geometric design manual for roads for the Ethiopian Roads Authority was recently produced. Safety was given much consideration as indicated by the preface.
the authors are of the opinion that safety should receive a strong emphasis, and this factor is considered repeatedly in this manual. A highway designer must strive to eliminate hazardous conditions, or dangerous unexpected situations for the driver to face. In a safe design, the designer should think in terms of a driver using the road in less than ideal circumstances. Consider a wet pavement, nighttime use, where the driver is using the road for the first time, and perhaps he has had a few drinks. If this combination of elements results in an unsafe environment for the driver, it can be considered that the design is insufficient (Ethiopian Roads Authority, 1999)."
In Tanzania, a safety audit was conducted on the Mikumi-Kidatu road, a gravel road which was to be upgraded to bitumen standard. As with many highways, narrow bridges located on the highway and especially at sharp corners, were a safety problem. The design of the upgraded road included the added safety features of
A recent World Bank funded project in Uganda was to revise the chapters of the Road Design Manual, which pertained to geometric design, junctions and road furniture (including traffic sings and road markings). Key design features which required priority attention included the need for a wide shoulder (2 m) on Class 1 rural roads. The study proposed the following design elements for urban arterial roads:
A recent doctoral thesis has resulted in an extensive analysis of the crash situation within Addis Ababa and on an adjoining intercity road. (Berhanu, 2000) The role of road and traffic factors was compared on the crash rates of urban and rural locations. Models were developed which related traffic accident frequencies with road and traffic explanatory variables. These predictive models were recommended for use in assessing the potential safety performance of various geometric design and traffic management alternatives as well as improving the traffic safety training of engineers.
Vulnerable Road User safety
The 1997 UNECA Study on the Improvement of Pedestrian and Child Safety in Urban Areas also emphasised reducing the crash risk through better planning of cities and the provision of good transport infrastructure and facilities. Key planning guidelines recommended included:
The Study also included recommendations for several other areas, including road and traffic engineering measures.
Road safety has been a main focus within the urban transport component of the World Bank's Sub Saharan African Transport programme. Focusing on pedestrian safety, the safety objectives include:
Draft guidelines for planning and improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists have recently been prepared for SSATP. The guidelines are based on pilot projects conducted in four African cities (Dar es Salaam and Morogoro in Tanzania and Nairobi and Eldoret in Kenya) which show, according to the author, that traffic calming can largely eliminate the risk of serious road injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. Self-enforcing, i.e. physical measures, are believed necessary for improving road safety (de Langen, 1999).
DFID has also invested in research aimed at reducing pedestrian crashes through improved road design and management. A recent project analysed pedestrian crashes in five countries including Ghana and Zimbabwe (WS Atkins, 1998). In addition to collecting crash data, traffic surveys, pedestrian questionnaires (including pedestrian casualties as well as pedestrian control group) and road inventories were undertaken to improve the understanding of pedestrian crashes and provide design guidance to reduce pedestrian vulnerability.
Traffic Safety Policy
Despite these examples of manuals, design guides, and safety audits, road safety does appear to be marginalised in many African countries. Whereas road authorities were adopting environmental impact assessment policies and relocation policies, road safety issues were too often being overlooked. Training programmes and reorganisations of road authorities were sometimes giving little thought to road safety.
In Ethiopia, the recent Ethiopian Roads Authority Proclamation makes no mention of any safety responsibility and the only safety responsibilities are in a Health and Safety Unit which is primarily concerned with workplace safety. Nor had the Road Sector Development Programme required basic traffic signing and markings. In light of this situation, the ongoing Ethiopian Road Safety Study proposed the following traffic safety policy be considered for adoption in the Road Sector Development Programme to ensure consistent and optimal safety investment was achieved on road rehabilitation projects (Table 7.2).
An early, but still very useful, reference on road safety engineering is the "Road Safety Manual on Low-Cost Engineering Countermeasures", produced in 1990 by UNECA. This manual covers such basics as what crash and road data should be analysed, the identification of hazardous locations, but the main focus was on common causes of crashes and recommended solutions. Examples were given of loss of control at junction, sharp bends, and straight bends, pedestrian collisions at different locations, as well as vehicles travelling in the same, converging and opposite directions. The manual contains a table of expected safety benefits by countermeasure and crash type with unit costs provided. Key safety aspects in road planning (road alignment, road width, sight distance and road environment) and in junction design (junction form, use of islands, sight distances, and bus stops near junctions) were also discussed. Design details of speed bumps, raised zebra crossing and rumble strips and guidance on improving a pedestrian crossing were also provided (UNECA, 1989).
In Tanzania, the engineers and the technicians from the Regional Engineer's Office (REO) in Morogoro have benefited from training both inside and outside Tanzania on road safety. There is also a close cooperation between the police and the REO as the latter has a computer with MAAP5 installed and is responsible for entering the report forms completed by the police (Kiza and Kayoza, 1997).
The road authorities in Ghana are reported to have recently become more proactive on road safety issues. The Ghanaian Highways Authority now has a Safety and Environment Division which conducts safety audits on proposed schemes and also oversees hazardous location improvement programmes on their road network. The Department of Urban Roads has undertaken to identify the 100 worst urban crash locations in the country and is then to introduce a remedial measures programme (Ross, Nov. 1999). The World Bank is currently funding a Pedestrian Action Plan which focuses on remedial measures for hazardous locations for pedestrians (WB, 1999)
South Africa has been very active in promoting pedestrian facilities, safety audits and has now produced a draft 7 volume road safety manual. Some of the key road safety engineering resources are summarised below.
The South African road safety manual: towards a safer millennium
for South Africa
This paper contains the background of the development of the South African Road Safety Manual, a best practice, guideline document for road safety engineering practitioners. A brief summary of the contents of the various volumes is also included (Van Schalkwyk, I, Jul-99).
Pedestrian facility guidelines: manual to plan, design and
maintain safe pedestrian facilities
The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance on the planning, design and maintenance of safe pedestrian facilities, both across and alongside roads and streets, namely mid block pedestrian crossings, pedestrian refuge islands, pedestrian facilities at intersections and junctions, scholar pedestrian crossings and sidewalks. Practical guidance and typical layouts are also provided with respect to the improvement of pedestrian safety at problem areas in cities, town and on rural roads. These places inter alia are: modal transfer pints, pedestrian malls and other pedestrian orientated areas such as suburban shopping streets, industrial areas and pedestrian routs in residential areas. Specific aspects such as facilities for handicapped pedestrians in the street environment and pedestrians safety at road construction sites are dealt with (Ribbens, H, Mar-93).
Proposed guidelines to improve pedestrian safety at freeway
Annually more than 2000 pedestrians are killed and injured on freeways, especially at or near interchanges. Although pedestrians are not allowed on freeways, numerous pedestrians are crossing freeways at-grade or are using the interchange area as a modal transfer point. The study identified 40 interchanges throughout South Africa experiencing problems with pedestrians. The circumstances at 16 of these interchanges were thoroughly investigated. The findings of this study suggest that there should be a policy change with regard to the presence of pedestrians at freeway interchanges. Law enforcement has not had the desired effect to limit pedestrian activities. By providing safe pick-up and off-loading points on ramps, traffic safety in general and the channelisation of pedestrians through the interchange are will be improved. this document discusses a number of alternative installations. Guidelines for the layout of pedestrian facilities within the interchange area are given (De Beer, EJH, Mar-92).
The effect of rural road construction on the accident rate
The effect of rural road construction on the accident rate during and after construction was investigated. Data was collected from the Road and Traffic Administration Branch of the Cape Provincial Administration for 65 individual projects. At more than 75 percent of the sites an increase in the accident rate during construction was found. The largest increases wee for multiple vehicle and damage only accidents. The most important finding of the study is that new regulations for traffic control during construction caused a significant reduction in the accident rate at these sites (Bester, CJ,Sep-93).
The revised K21: Identification and improvement of hazardous
The purpose of this manual is to provide a practical and easy-to-use method for identifying and prioritising hazardous locations in a given area, and to provide guidelines for establishing the most cost-effective remedial measures for a specific site. This manual is based on the CSIR Technical Manual K21, published in 1972. Although a much more simplified approach towards the identification of hazardous locations, and step-by-step procedures regarding the investigation of such sites as well as determining the benefit/cost ratio's of possible improvements are given in this manual, much of the information contained in the original manual is repeated in this document. To assist the user, a list of collision patterns, their probable causes and general countermeasures are given. Furthermore, the improvement recommended for various type of collisions are described and an estimate is given of the degree to which these improvements could reduce collisions. Also included are updated collision costs and unit costs of road locations (Opperman, RA, Mar-91)
Safety devices short course
A short course on safety devices was developed on behalf of the South African Roads Board and presented at three locations in South Africa. The course was aimed at engineers, technicians and safety officials responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of road safety devices. The course was developed to provide a broad overview of road safety devices as well as related aspects affecting road safety. Notes had to be developed for a major portion of the course. A part of the course was, however, based on a number of research reports of the South African Roads Board and various South African design manuals. This provided a valuable opportunity for the dissemination of local research results to practicing professionals (Woods, DL, May-93).
The cost effectiveness of recovery areas and roadside furniture
on rural roads
This report describes the hazard index model for determining the cost-effectiveness of alternative improvements to roadside hazards along South African rural roads. A collision probability model was developed to estimate the probability of a vehicle encroaching onto the roadside and striking a hazard. Basic encroachment rates of 0.0005 and 0,001 encroachments per kilometre per year were established for freeways and two-way two-lane roads respectively. Hazard indices were calculated using the estimated encroachment and collision frequencies, severity indices for various types of hazards, and collision and road authority costs. It is recommended that road authorities implement a hazard index model to determine the most cost-effective alternative when considering improvement to the roadside (De Beer, EJH, Mar-92).
Guidelines for pedestrian signing
This report discusses various aspects relating to the display of guidance signs aimed at pedestrians. Various aspects of these signs are discussed in comparison with overseas literature, current South African practice and implemented examples. Guidelines for aspects like the colour, shape, format, lettering style, size and placement are proposed. An overview of available symbolic signs and proposals for standardised symbols, where these do not currently exist, are made (Kooverjee, SG,Mar-95) .
N2 Murchison to Marburg pedestrian road safety audit & campaign
The audit and campaign are discussed in this paper. The audit was conducted in an effort to identify remedial measures aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian incidents in the area (Mileham, TL, Jul-99).
Towards road safety auditing in South Africa
This paper discusses safety audit in general while reference is made to some initiatives in South Africa. A framework for road safety auditing in South Africa is also proposed (Ferreira, RN, Sep-99).
Safety in Traffic Operations Programmes manual: a tool to
assist road authorities with the evaluation of road safety for rural roads on
a network level
This paper aims to give a brief introduction and overviews of the STOP (Safety in Traffic Operations Programmes) Manual. The discussion touched on the aims of the STOP Manual, its framework and the basic principles and procedures used during the evaluation process, without going into too much technical detail. The STOP manual was developed to provide authorities with assessment procedures to evaluate rural roads on a network level, in order to determine segments with a poor safety performance and to assist authorities with the effective allocation of funds for remedial measures (Prinsloo, JJA, Sep-99).
Evaluation of speed humps
In 1995 the Centurion Town Council started implementing traffic calming devices such as speed humps, mini-circles and raised pedestrian crossings. To evaluate their effectiveness and desirability, the Council performed before and after studies at some of these facilities. The study used evidence obtained by measurements on main traffic aspects, such as flows, composition, speeds, headways, noise and subjective opinions of both motorists and residents. The methodology applied in the study and the outcome thereof is briefly described in this paper (Slavik, MM, Sep-97).
A performance evaluation of traffic safety barriers in use
in South Africa
In 1995 the University of Pretoria, as part of a concerted research endeavour to alert authorities to roadside hazards, launched a study concerning the evaluation of the performance of traffic barriers. The major finding of this study was that in certain circumstances, the use of specific concrete barrier designs, compared to steel guardrail and cable systems, have economic and safety benefits. Based on the findings of the research, the use of the single slope concrete barrier design was recommended for use in South Africa. A need for standard designs and guidelines for concrete barrier use in South Africa was also identified. This paper provides a brief overview of the study (Van Schalkwyk, I, Sep-97).
(Germiston - pedestrian study: an investigation in hazardous
locations and recommended solutions)
The study investigates pedestrian hazardous locations occuring at intersections, mid-block and on freeways in Germiston. Recommendations are made for the improvement of pedestrian safety at the identified hazardous locations (Ribbens, H,Mar-90).
Speed control at roadworks
Existing and alternative methods of setting speed limits and controlling speed at roadwork sites, used by road authorities, contractors and consultants locally and overseas, were investigated (De Beer, EJH, Jul-90).
Safe pedestrian facilities: user manual on planning and
This document provides guidance on the planning and design of safe pedestrian facilities and practical guidance and solutions in respect of the improvement of pedestrian safety at problems areas in cities (Ribbens, H, Mar-91).
Road markings: General review and recommendations
The report deals with road markings in general and covers various topics related to road marking practice, including materials, road safety and costs. Recommendations aimed at improving road marking practice are made (Coetzee, CH, Mar-89).
Proposed guidelines to improve pedestrian safety at freeway
There should be a policy change with regard to the presence of pedestrians at freeway interchanges. Law enforcement has not had the desired effect to limit pedestrian activities. By providing safe pick-up and off-loading points on ramps, traffic safety in general and the channelisation of pedestrians through the interchange area will be improved. This document discusses a number of alternative installations. Guidelines for the layout of pedestrian facilities within the interchange area are given (De Beer, EJH, Mar-92).
Proposed guidelines to improve pedestrian safety at freeway
This report conveys the findings of a literature survey on current practice, locally and abroad in terms of pedestrian and modal transfer facilities at freeway interchanges as well as a detailed study conducted at several urban and rural freeway interchanges. Guidelines are proposed for the provision, layout and safe locations of pedestrian and modal transfer facilities at these interchanges. The elimination of undesirable pedestrian activities is also catered for (De Beer, EJH, Mar-92).
National guidelines, standards and warrants for traffic
calming measures - a literature review
This report entails a detail literature review into traffic calming. The origin of the concept and its application overseas and in South Africa formed part of the research. The need for traffic calming, public participation and types of measures that are generally used in traffic calming schemes are discussed in this report (Theyse, M, Nov-94).
Towards a traffic calming policy for Class 4 and Class 5
This report forms part of a study of a portion of Dennegeur Avenue, as an experimental section, where certain calming measures was investigated, implemented and evaluated. This report gives suitable description of proposed traffic calming standards and amendments of the existing policy and the application of traffic calming warrants. The traffic calming policies of other local authorities are also discussed. The City of Cape Town has adopted a traffic calming policy which allows the implementation of traffic calming measures on lower order residential streets only (Groenewald, M Dec-99).
In recent years, many African countries have updated their traffic regulations, although a few, like Ethiopia, still have national traffic regulations dating back to the 1960s. The Southern African Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) produced a Model Code on Traffic Regulations in an attempt to promote regional harmonisation of traffic regulations among African countries which has been an ongoing objective (SATCC, 1992).
Traffic police are notoriously under-resourced. As of 1997, the Traffic Police in Uganda had only two stop watches for speed enforcement while the Zambian Traffic Police had no speed detection equipment (apart from their own speedometers), very few motor vehicles (3 patrol vehicles for Lusaka) and a reflective vest for only one out of every 11 traffic police officers in Lusaka (Cripps 1998, Aeron-Thomas 1998).
The Kenya/Finland Road Safety Project included training the Kenya Traffic Police and procuring traffic enforcement equipment as one of the first objectives. Traffic enforcement courses were conducted between 1981 and 1986 and a manual, Traffic Police Notes on Road Safety and Traffic Law Enforcement, was developed. The manual reviewed the basic operations involved in speed control, enforcement of driving habits, driving without headlights, dangerous parking, enforcement of drunken driving, condition of vehicles, overloading of vehicles, checking of documents. Road safety education, publicity campaigns and crash investigation were also covered as were user instructions for the new equipment, i.e. radio telephone, breathalyser, etc. (Hassel, 1991). This manual is very practical with good illustrations and well-presented.
Traffic police training was a key objective of a British Council project in Uganda. A traffic police specialist provided training to 15 traffic police trainers and conducted 2 day workshops for Senior Police Officers in 1997. The traffic police training course covered the areas of: Vehicle classification, vehicle technology, examination of vehicles, enforcement of speed, reckless/careless driving, overloaded vehicles, parking and obstruction, investigation of accidents, awareness of hazardous substances, safety at road checks, road safety education, publicity and training, and traffic control (Cripps, 1997). A follow-up visit allowed for both evaluation of the training and refresher training (Cripps, 1999).
The police have been encouraged in many countries to develop strategic plans in an attempt to promote a more pro-active management approach with targetted deployment of the scarce resources available to police. DFID (then Overseas Development Administration) assisted the Zambia Police Service in 1995 to develop a strategic plan and the traffic management section is presented in Figure 1.
The Zambia Police Service Strategic Plan also included a timetable with implementation responsibilities identified and suggested measurements of achievement.
Corruption was highlighted in several of the reports and the Kenyan Automobile Association was reported as having recommended that citizen groups be established to monitor police enforcement (Assum, 1998).
KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate has published its own road traffic safety strategy (1996-2000). "Saving Lives" is a comprehensive and well-researched document which was produced after a study tour to Victoria, Australia. The Strategy includes information on the crash statistics, the Road Traffic Inspectorate organisational structure, Mission Statement and the Inspectorate's Code of Ethics. Projects were proposed for the 16 priority areas identified which included: drinking and driving, speeding, pedestrians, heavy vehicle operations, restraint wearing, drivers in high-risk groups, drugs and driving, road quality, vehicle roadworthiness, drivers licenses, legislation, co-ordination, statistics, information systems, moving violations, and staffing levels. For each priority areas, a problem statement is given and the proposed remedial measures stated. For instance, the project on moving violations was said to involve educating the public on the consequences of violating traffic regulations and the use of unmarked vehicles and camera technology to prosecute offenders (KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate, 1996).
The South African Police Service (SAPS) developed a proposed policy on treatment /interaction with road victims. It included the following 15 points:
Many police forces in the UK have adopted such codes but this was the only country identified in Africa which had considered victims needs and how police should respond.
The following traffic law enforcement references have been published:
The relationship between fines and offences
A research study was conducted to determine what the effect of increased fines and stricter law enforcement respectively would be on traffic offences. A literature study was also done to assess other countries' policies regarding heavy vehicle overloading as well as to determine if previous research could reach any conclusions about fines, enforcement levels and traffic offences. Regarding the relationship between fines, law enforcement and offences it was decided to concentrate on both heavy vehicle overloading offences and offences committed by general road users, e.g. speeding, seat belt and traffic signal offences. Historical data were analysed to determine if there was a relationship between law enforcement and offence rates. Because no definite conclusions could be drawn from existing data, it was decided to conduct an opinion poll to determine whether road users knew of the fines structure and to obtain their views on increased fines and stricter law enforcement. The study indicate that road users were uniformed about the fines structure and that offences could only be curtailed by better communication and marketing, together with a combination of higher fines and stricter law enforcement (Davis, C Apr-95).
The attitude of minibus drivers towards traffic law enforcement
The attitude of taxi drivers towards traffic legislation and traffic law enforcement was investigated. The main problems identified were bad communication and disrespect between law enforcers and taxi drivers, the uncontrolled influx of new taxi drivers into the taxi industry and the competitive nature of this industry. There is a need for constant training for both traffic law enforcers and taxi drivers if the problems of the taxi industry are to be addressed. The relationship between traffic laws and road safety should also be emphasised during training and ticketing procedures (Botes, G, Mar-93).
Alternative approaches to the enforcement of traffic laws relating to specific
violations by freight and passenger operators and motorists
The feasibility of using electronic or other alternatives to manpower-intensive methods to monitor, deter or apprehend traffic violators is investigated in an attempt to release traffic officers for other law enforcement duties. This is particularly important as, in the light of recent announcements to reduce the numbers of civil servants, the shortage of traffic officers is likely to increase. Four traffic violations were selected for investigation on the grounds of their importance for road safety and the protection of the already threatened road infrastructure. Those selected were alcohol and drug abuse, excessive speed, unroadworthy vehicles and overloading of freight and passenger vehicles. The unique law enforcement problems pertaining to each are described and possible solutions are discussed (Van Kralingen, WN, Mar-92).
Attitudes of traffic officers to minibus-taxi drivers The relationships between
and minibus-taxi drivers have always been strained. Various factors contribute to this, including the rift between the race groups in South Africa, the frustrations that traffic officers experience in the performance of their duties and the tense contact situation. Although these factors have to be taken into consideration when assessing the relationships, it is also vital to consider the personality profiles of the men who choose the traffic profession as their career (Sonderling, NE, Mar-92).
Following too closely: (a) Recommendations for a criminal following time (b)
the development and introduction of suitable enforcement equipment
This report discusses local and overseas statistics on rear-end collisions, as well as legal problems with prosecutions for following too closely, The prescription of a measurable objective following time is proposed and "safe", "unsafe" and "criminal" following rimes are defined (Botha, TJ, Aug-89).
The administrative adjudication of road traffic offences Discussions around
of the Road Traffic management Corporation in term of road traffic offences is supplied (Van Tonder, H, Jul-99).
Apart from South Africa, the driver testing and training references found from Africa were from Botswana and Ghana. The 1996 Botswana Accident Report reviewed the progress made and activities undertaken in driver training and examination, theory tests, driving instructors' training and examination and vehicle examination (Department of Road Transport and Safety, 1997)
An assessment of driving instruction in Gaborone included was based on surveys of drivers, driving schools and a review of recent driving test results. The survey of drivers and driving schools in Gaborone was conducted to assess the effectiveness and quality of professional driving instruction as driving schools are uncontrolled in Botswana (Oladiran and Pheko, 1995). The questionnaire contained 36 questions covering: demographic details, type and condition of vehicles used for training, frequency and amount of instruction, topics covered during training, previous L-test attempts, accident record of candidates and cost of taking driving instruction. Of the 400 randomly selected drivers who participated in the survey, 70 per cent were male.
Driver survey findings revealed the following:
While the vast majority were taught road signs (94%, training in traffic offences and penalties was low (32%) and only 2% claimed to have received any defensive driver training. Over half said they had been taught about the causes of driving. Survey findings were limited to relative percentages and the share of drivers receiving driver training or driver licensing status was not given. Unlicensed drivers posed a problem as the Ministry of Works had identified 36 per cent of all drivers killed in road accidents as being unlicensed.
Pass rates overall at the four main testing stations had improved between 1992 (22-36%) and 1993(25-43%). It was hypothesised that this was due to the increased number of driving schools which were enforcing the mandatory training period of 6 months.
Driving schools surveyed included the 33 registered in Gaborone and some of the non-commercial driving schools as well. The 40 question survey included details of available facilities and staffing, demographic information about trainees, and accident and L-test pass records of the institute. The driving school survey revealed that no training was being conducted on pick-ups despite their accounting for the majority of the nation's vehicles and being involved in 40 per cent of all crashes. The study concluded that driving standards would be improved by standardising the driving schools and monitoring their performance (Oladiran and Pheko, 1995).
Commercial drivers were the focus of a research study in Ghana. Commercial vehicles account for 46 per cent of all registered vehicles in Ghana, have higher occupancies and greater kilometrage travelled (Mock et al, 1999). A community based survey was undertaken in Ghana which both estimated the involvement of commercial vehicles in road injuries and assessment of the current knowledge, attitude and practices of commercial drivers. Of the 122 motor vehicle related injuries (those which had occurred in the previous year and had resulted in at least 1 day's work) identified in a survey of 21,105 people, commercial vehicles were involved in 81 per cent of related injuries with buses accounting for half (Mock et al, 1999). While commercial vehicles were found to be equally involved in pedestrian crashes and motor vehicle crashes, commercial vehicles had a higher involvement rate in children's injuries (95%) than adults (79%).
Focus group discussions were conducted with 30 commercial drivers in a lorry park in Kumasi. Groups were limited to 5-7 drivers and organised by specific types of drivers (taxi and mini-bus), i.e. type of vehicle driven and destination. Drivers were asked general questions on the cause of crashes and how they can be prevented as well as specific questions on vision, alcohol, fatigue, vehicle maintenance, and seat belts. Drivers were also asked to identify some traffic signs. No limit was set on drivers' responses and discussion lasted between 1-2 hours.
Despite showing a positive attitude towards safety and basic knowledge of the effect of alcohol, driver vision, vehicle maintenance in contributing to crashes, drivers did not appear to put into practice what they knew. For instance, few drivers had had their vision checked and most reported only using seat belts on long journeys. Traffic signs posed a problem with 70 per cent incorrectly identifying the sign for "sharp bend ahead". For contributory factors in road crashes, the drivers listed economic pressure with high rental rates pushing them to drive long hours and while exhausted. Limited availability and the high cost of spare parts and tires also contributed to crashes whereas many imported vehicles did not include seat belts. Brake fluid was often watered diluted with soap and water to save money. Drivers thought that crashes could be reduced if the cost, quantity and quality of spare parts could be improved, towing services expanded to allow prompt removal of broken down vehicles, free or low cost vision testing for drivers and stricter licensing and testing of drivers.
A summary of the Petroleum Road Transport Safety Limited facility where defensive driver training and vehicle inspections are offered is included in Section 5.3 Private Sector Participation. Public sector capability in driver training and testing is also being improved under a SIDA funded project. The 3 year project will develop and introduce a new driving test (both theory and practical aspects), training of 100-200 persons including driving examiners, driving instructors and trainers as well as the establishment of formal procedures and criteria for regulating driving schools and driving instructors (Ross, Nov 1999).
In 1989 the UNECA commissioned TRL to produce a guide for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers. Evaluation in the development stages (Downing, 1989) indicated serious groups in professional driver's knowledge of safe driving practices and demonstrate a 13 percent improvement in drivers' text scores after reading this guide.
The study also indicated that advanced driver training courses were provided by a large number of large fleet operators and, in Zimbabwe, the ZTSB run defensive driving courses were reported (Sandwith, 1980) to result in large drops in company driver's crash rates.
CSIR has produced the following publications on driver training and testing:
Contribution of human factors to combi-taxi collisions
The report investigated two human factors which could possibly play a role in Combi-taxi collisions, namely attitudes and pressure. The investigation revealed that Combi-taxi drivers are aware of the importance of road safety, but do not always take it seriously and are not always aware of the rules of the road. They are subjected to a great degree of pressure. There is a perception that they are not considerate towards their passengers. It is recommended that ways be found to alleviate the pressure on them, and that the acquiring of cognitive skills be incorporated as an essential part of all driver training courses, which would again facilitate attitude change of drivers (Sonderling, NE, Mar-91).
Graduated licensing system
The of young people applying for drivers' licenses in South Africa are increasing dramatically and it is estimated that by the year 2000 approximately 2,6 million inexperience drivers will be applying for licenses. The drastic increase in novice drivers will have a subsequent increase in collisions and fatalities. It is proposed that there should be multiple levels to which the novice driver can be gradually exposed to the traffic situation in the safest possible manner until he has proved to be a mature and experienced driver (Coetsee, TN, Sep-99).
Contribution of human factors to combi-taxi collisions This report investigated
factors which could possibly play a role in Combi-taxi collisions, namely attitudes and pressure. The drivers are aware of the importance of road safety but do not always take it seriously and are not always sure of the rules of the road (Sonderling, N Mar-91).
The development and application of a training programme to enhance occupational
skills of minibus-taxi drivers
A basic training programme for minibus-taxi drivers, tailored to the particular needs of the minibus-taxi industry, was developed and piloted. It is designed to enhance the occupational skills of drivers in the industry, and is aimed at overcoming the problems of inadequate basic education and minimal exposure to managing financial matters by minibus-taxi drivers. The programme consists of eight modules and covers areas not conventionally within the ambit of driver training programmes (Miller, PK, Mar-91).
The application of a programme of action designed to enhance the basic driver
skills of combi-taxi drivers
A basic driver training programme for Combi-taxi drivers, tailored to the particular needs of the Combi-taxi industry, developed. It forms part of a four-pronged approach to improve the quality of drivers in the Combi-taxi industry, and is aimed at overcoming the problems of inadequate basic education and economic exposure of Combi-taxi drivers. The programme consists of eight modules and covers areas not conventionally within the ambit of driver training programmes (Miller, PK, Mar-91).
The likely evolution of the combi-taxi and bus industries: implications for
public transport planning and funding
The report examines the implications for national and local funding and planning authorities on the evolution of the combi-taxi and bus industries under two policy scenarios. The effects on operators, support industries and road safety are also considered (Smith, RA, Mar-92).
Very little was found documented on vehicle inspection or safety regulations. The responsibilities of the Vehicle Examination Section in Botswana were briefly summarised in an evaluation report (Davey, 1996). The 1996 Botswana Annual Accident Report commended the Vehicle Examination Section for having produced a very useful "Guide to Roadworthiness Testing for Motor Vehicles" which was written in layman's terms. Zimbabwe is reported to be benefiting from a major technical assistance input from SIDA to establish regional centres for vehicle testing.
The functions of the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Department (VELD) in Ghana were recently reviewed and consideration given to privatisation. It was decided that the VELD would be restructured and the headquarters would be separated from the Accra Testing Station (Kwakye et al, 1997)
Vehicle registration data is being computerised in Zambia but there is little information collected on vehicle inspections although the Police reported 20 per cent of injury crashes to have been caused by vehicle defects (tyres, brake failure, lack of lights). A vehicle defect rectification scheme was conducted during the Traffic Safety Month (October 1996). A grace period of two weeks was allowed for vehicle defects to be repaired with defaulters having their names published in the local newspapers (Aeron-Thomas, 1998).
Examples of both primary and secondary vehicle safety research were found in South Africa.
Evaluation of braking performance of loaded minibus-taxis
The braking performance of loaded minibus-taxis is evaluated in this report. This is done with specific reference to the replacement and "pirate" replacement parts which are compared with the braking components of the original equipment manufacturers (Meintjes, HS, Aug-92).
The motor vehicle tyre in road safety
Tyres are a relevant factor in approximately 11% of motor vehicle accidents. As such they are an extremely important aspect of road safety. Aspect such as thread depth, cord damage, inflation pressure, vehicle loading, rubber conditions and repair techniques all influence the safety of the tyres. These aspects are briefly discussed in this paper (Duff-Riddell, WR, Sep-97.
Bus safety standards: (guidelines on reduction of the flammability of interior
The problem of flammability of materials used for the interior of passenger buses is reviewed. Tests done on currently used materials, as well as new materials are discussed. Methods to reduce the risk to bus occupants are discussed. A recommendation on where the bus industry and the legislative bodies should aim to be with regard to the subject of flammability of interior materials is put forward (Thomas, AW, Jun-88).
In Zimbabwe, publicity campaigns are organised by the National Road Safety Committee which includes a representative from the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board, Zimbabwe Police and Shell with rotating committee leadership. Road safety campaigns had previously been conducted on a monthly basis but the Committee realised that these were too short to have any effect. It has adopted a quarterly campaign programme and the calendar for 1999 included the Negligent Pedestrian for the first quarter, followed by Vehicle Defects, then the Use of Seat Belts. The year was to end with a campaign on Don't Drink and Drive and a recapture of the previous three.
The Federal Road Safety Commission in Nigeria was reported to conduct public enlightenment programmes that included:
The Ethiopian Road Safety Study has recommended a publicity campaign be conducted using the methodology of the AIDS prevention project which targeted transport workers and was conducted by the Integrated Service for AIDS Prevention and Support Organisation (ISAPSO). Transport workers are viewed as a "hard to reach" group and are vulnerable to both AIDS and road crashes.
The Road Transport Authority assisted by identifying transport companies willing to participate. Seven companies participated and seminars were given for the transport company managers, labour union leaders, and board members. Peer educators were then recruited and trained on informal education skills.
The project also undertook a baseline Knowledge Attitude Practices and Behaviour survey. Educational materials were then customised to the findings from the survey and included songs and dramas on tape cassettes, leaflets on sexually transmitted diseases, pocket diaries with risk assessment messages, stickers, T-shirts and posters. The materials were distributed to drivers, assistants as well as other transport workers such as office staff and tape cassette players were loaned to bus drivers.
Regular monitoring was conducted and during an 8 month implementation phase, over 250,000 travellers were estimated to have heard the tapes. In addition, peer educators were estimated to have worked with over 2000 transport workers. A formal evaluation is to be conducted at the end of the project but the indications are that learning through entertainment without affecting the work schedule holds much potential (UNAIDS ETHIOPIA, March 1999). Such an approach should be considered for road safety as the target group is similar and both require a reduction in personal and social risk.
Drive Alive, South Africa's national road safety campaign, is discussed under the section on Private sector participation as much of the funding for the campaign was donated.
Despite a much higher level of motorisation, South Africa shares with Ethiopia a serious pedestrian safety problem. Over 40 per cent of the road fatalities in South Africa are pedestrians and over 10,000 are seriously injured every year while walking on the roads. The South African Road Safety Technical Committee formed an Adult Pedestrian Working Group which produced a manual and a flipchart targeting adult pedestrians. These teaching aids were chosen for their flexibility and low cost.
The campaign targets the five key areas of
The manual and flipchart are to be distributed by the Department of Transport to all its provincial counterparts for use at the grassroots level. (Robot, Autumn 1999)
Early road casualty data analysis found children to account for a higher share of road casualties in developing countries. Donor agencies have supported the development of traffic safety materials for children as not only did they appear to be more vulnerable but they were also keen to instill good habits early in life to avoid the need to break bad habits later.
A DFID funded research programme into reducing child pedestrian casualties began with a survey of the current situation with regards to traffic safety education in schools (Sayer and Downing, 1996). A two-part survey was conducted with the first surveying Ministries of Education around the world while the second part surveyed schools in Botswana, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. 50 questionnaires from 43 different countries (13 from LMCs) were analysed to determine how many were including traffic safety in the curriculum, if it was a separate subject or included as component in another subject, and if there were government issued traffic safety guidelines.
The school surveys were targeted at teachers and covered such questions as the teachers' views on teaching methods, priority topics, resources available, outside support, time spent on road safety topics, problems encountered and improvements needed, and cyclist training. Teachers in 132 schools in Botswana and 383 schools in Zimbabwe were surveyed.
DFID and TRL followed up this survey with a study in Ghana which had five key objectives:
A report was published which focused on the research involved in evaluating the resource (Sayer et al, 1997) while the Guidelines were produced separately as an Overseas Road Note 17 Guidelines for good practice in primary schools (TRL, 1997).
While the traditional approach has been to introduce traffic safety into the school timetable and work within the formal education system, in Africa, many children cannot afford to attend school. Non formal education programmes tend to focus more on the practical and topics of direct relevance. Radda Barnen have included traffic safety lessons in their proposed Alternative Basic Education programme syllabus. A common syllabus for non formal education programmes has been submitted to the Ministry of Education for approval and several NGOs are already pilot testing the syllabus. Materials and training are lacking with regards to traffic safety lessons as these have been the previous responsibility of the Traffic Police (TRL, 2000).
The Ghana research also led to the production Safe Ways, a road safety education resource for teachers of primary children, (TRL, 1996) and a companion volume, Teaching the Teachers, which was a step by step guide to running a road safety education workshop for primary school teachers (TRL, 1996).
Child to Child
The Child to Child (CtC) approach, started in 1978, is based on the direct involvement of children in the decision making and channelling of health information. It is not an alternative programme but an approach which can be used within broader health programmes. Children are encouraged to select and assist in the design of the topics and materials. Previous topics have included personal and community hygiene, the effects of smoking, AIDS and sex education.
CtC have included several traffic safety worksheets in their suggested manual and at present, CtC is used in over 60 countries. The lessons are locally selected and while Zimbabwe was keen to promote the traffic safety lessons, in Ethiopia, the CtC coordinating agency, Forum for Street Children-Ethiopia (FSCE), had not thought of including traffic safety lessons in its programme. Over the last seven years, FSCE has worked with the local police in establishing child protection units and trying to get the police to view street children as children rather than small criminals.
South Africa has done much to promote traffic safety education for children but the references provided so far only mention one report. The Scholar Programme and STEP programme are two initiatives that still deserve to be documented.
Moving through road safety education
The lack of effective road safety education in South African schools and the implementation of a formal road safety education course for student teachers are discussed (Drotske, L, Sep-99).
The role of the medical community in reducing road trauma should not be seen to be limited to the immediate post crash stage and that of the emergency medical services. Medical leaders have led the campaign for road safety in many countries, including both the United States and Australia.
In South Africa, the Medical Research Council (MRC) has been active in highlighting the human burden of road crashes. It publishes policy briefs as a means of disseminating research results and influencing decision makers. In 1998, a policy brief on road trauma was released, entitled "South Africa road traffic trauma: The Way Forward". The brief discussed the following:
Recommendations included increased investment in enforcement with specific mention given:
In addition, other recommendations included more priority given adult pedestrian problem and role of alcohol, improved public transport, conspicuity campaigns. The need for a central, national authority on road safety was also suggested and the development of a national safety culture through publicity and education campaigns. The Arrive Alive campaign was commended and recommended extended (MRC, 1998).
Medical references related to the road safety situation fell into two main categories: Data collection and epidemiological or trauma studies and emergency medical services.
The problems associated with the current state of health statistics in sub-Saharan Africa were discussed in a Lancet article in 1998. The mortality rates and cause estimates for Africa in the Global Burden of Disease were criticised for being based on the 1 per cent of the sub -Saharan population included in the health statistics of South Africa and
"Since there are no data, the numbers are guestimates; representations of reality formed from models, extrapolations, and common sense, constrained largely by the need to avoid conflict with previous estimates "(Cooper et al, 1998).
The GBD projections from sub-Saharan Africa were recommended not to be used until they could be cross-checked with data.
The 1996 Road Safety Seminar in Kampala inspired the establishment of the Injury Control Centre-Uganda by one of the trauma surgeons attending the seminar. Funding has been received from the Canadian Network for International Surgeons and the first objective was the collection of trauma casualty data. The programme has now expanded to five hospitals in Kampala and covers all trauma casualties, i.e. not just road casualties. The research is intended to identify those social groups most at risk and monitors such factors as age, occupation, activity and attitude. The ICCU also shares the information collected through seminars for medical and road safety professionals (Cripps, 1999)
The ICCU was also reported as resulting in the introduction of the Injury Prevention Initiative for Africa (IPIFA) in which trauma surveys are conducted in several other countries including Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. Regional collaboration has also been promoted through seminars (Cripps, 1999).
WHO introduced a Road Injury Prevention Initiative in Africa which focused on establishing trauma registries in hospitals and developing reliable trauma databases.
Community surveys have also been undertaken in an attempt to accurately measure the incidence of injury.
Eldorado Park, a township in Greater Johannesburg of approximately 85,000 residents, has applied to become a member of the Safe Community Network under the WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion, Karolinska Institutet (Karolinska Institutet, 1998). The Health Psychology Unit Centre for Peace Action (CPA), a Collaborating Centre for Injury and Violence Prevention, has been working with the community in Eldorado since the late 1980s. The findings of early hospital based epidemiological study of injuries were disseminated through meetings with a variety of organisations ranging from local community groups to international donor agencies. A violence prevention programme was subsequently with the clear establishment of objectives, targets and monitoring procedures an early priority. Difficulty in evaluating effectiveness led to household surveys of injury patterns and risk factors which in turn resulted in the "three neighbourhood safety promotion programme". Survey findings from a sample of over 1000 homes identified traffic injury as second to violence, but with wide ranging injury rates between the neighborhoods due to such factors as the the varying local road environment. Appropriate interventions such as the provision of safe pedestrian crossings and various environmental modifications to high risk roads were recommended.
An earlier study of childhood injury patterns at Alexandra, a different South African urban township also within Greater Johannesburg also found traffic injuries to be the second main cause of injury (14%) , compared to violence (35%) (Zwi et al, 1995). The traffic injury rate for girls varied with young girls (under the age of 5) reporting over twice the traffic injuries as boys of the same age. The pattern then reversed for children between the ages of 5 and 9 with boys reporting 84 per cent more injuries than girls. For those aged 19-14, boys had a slighlty higher traffic injury rate (17 % more).
A recent epidemiological study in Ghana, funded by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, investigated the incidence, characteristics and consequences, including costs, of injuries in both a rural and urban area (Kumasi). A total of 21,105 people were surveyed about injuries which had occurred in the past year which had resulted in at least one day of lost normal activity and any other injury which had resulted in lasting disability. A total of 198 traffic injuries were identified from the sample, slightly less than 1 per cent injury rate. The economic impact was also estimated with out of pocket treatment costs and loss days of normal activity. Traffic injuries were found to account for only 16 per cent of urban injuries but 75 per cent of all urban injury related deaths.
The annual traffic mortality incidence in Ghana was reported to be higher than that in the USA. The study concluded that with respect to the incidence rates, disability times, treatment costs and economic consequences, injury control, especially that of traffic injury, merited greater attention from organisations involved in international health (Mock et al, 1999).
The role of the medical sector is often limited to the immediate post-crash stage involving the emergency medical services. There is a wide range of emergency medical services in Africa depending on the location of the crash and the insurance coverage of the casualties. Air ambulances exist in several African countries but for the most part, ambulances are limited to urban areas and in some countries such as Ethiopia where the Red Cross provide ambulance services, few road casualties are transported by ambulance. As of 1995, Kampala was reported as not having any ambulance services for the general public and a project proposal for 5 ambulances and a supervision car was developed by St John's ambulance (St John Ambulance, 1996) A 3 month survey at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka reported 35 per cent of road casualties transported by Good Samaritan, 26 per cent by their own vehicle, 21 per cent by police vehicle and only 5 per cent by government ambulance (Kafula, 1997).
A presentation at a road safety seminar in Uganda covered the medical issues of road casualties. Mulago Hospital in Kampala, reported road crash victims accounting for 20-25 per cent of its surgical emergency admissions in 1995, when a total of 2087 road casualties were treated in the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department. The casualty's condition is worsened by the lack of pre-hospital care in Uganda, with most casualties being transported to the hospital via "Good Samaritans". Alcohol intoxication was believed to play a major role in road injury with the then legal blood alcohol limit of 150 mg/dl (Aidria-Ezati, 1996)
Regional collaboration has begun on injury control and prevention. The Third International Conference on Injury Prevention and Control in Melbourne (1996) included a round table session on injury control in Africa. The objectives were the development of strategies for increased government and international donor community support for injury control. Recommended strategies included
Linking injuries with other societal problems, such as economic losses
Developing interest groups and coalitions, involving, for instance, the families of injury victims (Forjuoh and Mock, 1998)
While many countries report a problem with impaired road use due to alcohol and/or drugs, the response has been varied and in general, poorly documented. Few references were found pertaining to an area which has been a major priority area for HICs in the past few decades.
While drink driving (and walking under the influence of alcohol) is accepted as a major problem in many countries, relatively little research appears to have been conducted, possibly due to the difficulty and cost of testing. Blood tests are the most common method used but these involve an invasive procedure and complicated testing procedures as well. While breathalysers have been the standard method in developed countries for the past few decades, they are still regarded with suspicion in many countries.
In Eldoret, Kenya, research was conducted to document the reliability of breathalysers in local conditions (Odero et al, 1999). In early 1995, a six month survey in local hospitals was conducted in which the breathalyser results of trauma-affected adults were compared with the findings from blood tests. The sample was restricted to injured adults attending the emergency room within 10 hours of the injury. Of a total of 2073 trauma casualties were attended, of which 41 per cent came after more than 10 hours time from the injury. Another 20 per cent were unable or refused to be tested. A total of 778 were breathalysed but of these, only 179 also had a blood sample taken.
Breathalysers were found to provide reliable and valid estimates of actual blood alcohol concentrations at levels equal to or greater than 50 millilitres of blood. At this level, nearly all false positives were eliminated. The need for proper training and clear instructions in the use of Alcolmeters was also stressed by the study. Breathalysers hold much potential as a low cost measure for assessing blood alcohol concentration, even at road side locations.
The Drug Recognition methodology developed by the Los Angeles Police Department and now used throughout the USA, has been introduced to South Africa. This involved a collaboration between the Departments of Justice, Health and Transport, as well as CSIR, the Medical Research Council and the Human Sciences Research Council. The South African Road Accident Fund has provided funding for anti-drug road safety strategies (van der Spuy,1997).
Botswana reported a 59 per cent decline in road deaths caused by drunken driving with 12 fatalities in 1997 compared to 27 the year before. Publicity and enforcement campaigns, especially the use of the breathalysers, were credited with contributing to the improvement (Department of Road Transport and Safety, 1997).
Alcohol and the injured driver: the
PODDER-project conducted at the Groote Schuur Hospital trauma unit
The objectives of the study were to determine, inter alia, the profile of the injured driver in terms of his demographic and socio-economic status, the interaction with law enforcement agencies, collision-related factors such as weather conditions, driving experiences, time of day and day of week (Kralingen, WN, Feb-91).
This section reviews the extent to which the cumulative costs of road traffic crashes are currently appreciated in Africa.
At the last African Road Safety Conference, RTCs were estimated at costing 2 per cent of a country's GNP (Dhilweyo, 1997). In the late 1980s, the Southern African Transport and Communications Council (SATCC) estimated RTCs to cost between 1.8-2.6 per cent GNP in the region. The 2 per cent estimate is being used by Nigeria (Osagie et al, 1998) while in Zambia, a 1990 TOI study estimated RTCs at 2.3 per cent GNP. The Botswana Road Safety Improvement Programme adopted South African values and estimated the 1994 national cost at P275M, 2.7 per cent GDP (Davey, 1996) yet the 1997 cost estimate for RTCs in South Africa was almost 13 billion Rand, 1 per cent GNP (Robot, Winter 1999). A recent study in Ethiopia estimated the RTC costs to be 0.8-0.9 per cent of GNP
High costing estimates have also been found with the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Public Works in Kenya valuing the cost of road accidents at 5 per cent country's GNP (Odero, 1997). KwaZulu-Natal estimates the consequences of road collisions to cost 4.5 per cent of the Province's Gross Domestic Product (KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate, 1995).
All countries used the gross output method but several included a component for the human costs, i.e. pain, grief and suffering (PGS). In Tanzania (1994) the resource costs of accidents were calculated from data from medical, insurance sector, police and planning commission. No addition was made for PGS and these costs were described as "preliminary" with vehicle damage estimated at 5 per cent of the value of the colliding vehicle. The resource costs were offered as a conservative estimate (11 billion TAS) with the actual costs assumed to be closer to 15-20 billion TAS (Tanzania MOW, 1996).
Until 1991, South Africa did not include a human cost component and it is still only a small amount based on actual compensation by the Road Accident Fund and only allocated to injuries (Schutte, 1999).
The Ethiopian costing was a desk exercise, which used different approaches to estimate the current RTC cost (Ethiopia Road Safety Study Survey Report, 1999). It was the only reference found which addressed the problem of under-reporting. The total cost to the country was calculated to include the cost of RTCs not reported to the police.
The level of details provided on the costings varied considerably and only a few provided average accident costs. The Road Safety Improvement Programme in Malawi estimated accident costs in 1992 for the four different severities, i.e. fatal, serious, slight, damage only. (De Leuw Cather, 1992). These categories were used by the costings in Ethiopia and South Africa, and a comparison of the relative weightings is shown in the table below.
Medical costs account for only a small portion of total crash costs yet RTCs are a serious drain on the limited medical resources available in Africa. The burden on the Kenya health care services from RTC included 2 per cent of all hospital attendances, 5 per cent admissions, 39 per cent trauma related admissions and 44 per cent of all trauma related bed days due to road casualties. RTC injuries resulted in a average length of inpatient stay over twice that of violence, the other main cause of trauma (Odero, 1998). In South Africa, one study found that only 5.5% of related costs were recovered from patients (MRC Policy Brief, 1998).
RTC is a major cause of disability with three quarters of all patients admitted to the National Spinal Injury Hospital in Nairobi due to RTCs (Odero/Holst, 1998).
A research project funded by DFID a few years back investigated the socio-economic impact of RTCs in Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Swaziland and Zimbabwe through hospital and insurance claim surveys. Most victims were married and living with between 9-46 per cent being the sole earner for the family. In Bangladesh, only one of every six victims surveyed did not have any dependants RTC victims were reported to have a higher median income than the national average but this may reflect the hospital based nature of the surveys (Ghee et al, 1997).
In keeping with its poverty elimination objective, DFID has continued to fund research into the impacts of RTCs as they are assumed to affect the vulnerable of society. A scoping study was recently undertaken which reviewed the current weaknesses of crash costing in developing countries and proposed a new methodology to be piloted in several countries (Ross Silcock, 2000). The case studies have been agreed to include Bangladesh, South Africa, India (Bangalore) and Ghana and are due to start in late 2000. A wider approach has been proposed which, in contrast to the traditional methodology which focuses on the casualty, investigates the impact on the family as they must bear the burden of care and adjust to the reduced household income available. Multiple methods of collecting lost output and vehicle damage costs have also been proposed for comparison purposes.
The economic analysis of a road safety project was discussed in the Malawi Road Safety Improvement Manual (Draft 1992), which contained practical examples of how to how to undertake a benefit cost analysis for safety measures.
The Tanzania Road Safety Programme Report (1996) included a chapter on the costs and other consequences of RTC. The objective was to derive a rational estimate of an annual road safety budget. A programme costing up to 1 billion shillings annually (about 5 per cent of the annual loss) was proposed. Assuming the recent accident reduction could be attributed to the programme, the savings from an a 1 per cent reduction in accident growth meant the cost of the DNTC Road Safety Division and the Police Capital would have been recouped in less than 2 years (Davey, 1996).
The ongoing Ethiopian Road Safety Study has used accident costs to highlight the small amount of funding being proposed for road safety improvements. Accident costs are being estimated at approximately twice the Road Fund annual earnings yet only 1-2 per cent of the Road Fund was being discussed for road safety investment (TRL, 1999)
South Africa has been researching crash costs for over the past three decades, with the first national estimate of RTC costs published in 1965. There have been 13 subsequent reviews of RTC costs, which are updated on an annual basis. CSIR have recently reviewed the methodology and are in the process of revising accident costs. RTC costs have been used to estimate the benefits of the ongoing Drive Alive national road safety campaign.
The references listed below are recent CSIR publications.
Validation of routine for determining travel time and road accident cost
According to the CEAS manual, the value of time or human life is a function of income per capita or income per worker. In this report the values for income given in the CEAS manual are compared with values obtained from roadside surveys. Also, the need to consider through traffic is considered. Finally, the implications of classifying vehicle occupants into three groups are indicated. It is concluded, inter alia, that current thinking on the valuation of time and human lives may not be acceptable future decision makers (Schutte, IC, Mar-94).
The results of a pilot study to estimate the social value of road accident
reduction for the purposes of CBA
The usual method for estimating the benefits of reducing the incidence of road accidents for the purpose of cost benefit analysis is to calculate the saving in accident costs. In this report, it is explained that the social value of accident reduction is really determined by the willingness of society to pay for safer roads. The results of a pilot survey which establishes this willingness are described, although it is evident that motorists consider existing taxation sufficient to afford such roads. A more comprehensive survey is recommended (Greenwood, PD, Oct-89).
The value of life according to the willingness-to-pay approach
The report contains the results of a survey to determine the willingness of individuals to contribute to improved road safety (Morden, CH, Mar-91).
Methodology for the determination of the unit cost of road traffic collisions
in South Africa as an input into economic evaluation
This report reviews the methodology for the estimation of the costs of collisions, including the methodologies used for earlier South African studies between 1962 and 1992, and the state-of-the-art of collision cost estimation internationally (Schutte, IC, Mar-99).
An estimate of the unit cost of road traffic collisions in South Africa for
This study was done in two phases. In Phase 1 the methodology for the estimation of the costs of collisions was reviewed, and proposals were made for updating South African estimates. Phase 2 involved the actual estimation of collision costs. Relevant aspects relating to phase 2 are documented in this report (Schutte, IC, Mar-00).