Friday, April 30, 2004

Road Safety in Africa

Road accidents have been a big theme in the African press this month.

The BBC World Serivce ran a series of reports to coincide with the World Health Organisation's Road Safety Day (7 April) examining how road traffic accidents are becoming a global epidemic.Each year 1.2 million men, women and children around the world lose their lives as a result of road traffic accidents, it reported. Hundreds of thousands more are injured on our roads, some of whom become permanently disabled.

The WHO's website also has a lot of information on road safety.

This Day reports that the last five years have deadly on Nigeria's roads. The Nigerian paper cites the country's Federal Road Safety Commission has adjudged the last five years as the worst since inception due to the high ratio of road crashes during the period. The commission resolved to set up two committees on the controversial issues of night travel and the recklessness of Okada riders with a view to advising management appropriately.

Africa Blog cites an interesting statistic to underline how grave the problem is. In South Africa, road accidents cause the most deaths among children between 4 and 15 years. Nearly every day two children die on our roads. Half of these children are younger than 8 years. About 800 children, all victims of road accidents, are treated at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. About 15% of these children are orthopedic patients.

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