The African continent is facing an enormous challenge when it comes to road safety with increasing number of deaths due to road accidents, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has said.
According to ECA over 300,000 people die due to road crashes every year despite African having only 2 percent of the worlds registered vehicles.
Out of the total 1.3 million road traffic fatalities that occurred every year globally, more than half are accounted in urban areas.
“The quality of road infrastructure, level of low enforcement, safety of vehicles and road user behavior are the issues that affect the road safety situation in Africa and beyond,” Vera Songwe
In Cameroon for instance, about 1,500 persons die from over 16,000 road crashes yearly since the beginning of the Decade.
“In the urban area, it is critical to address the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, children and motorcyclists,” the ECA report stressed.
Addressing road safety issiues in Africa should start with investment in infrastructure says Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of the ECA.
“The quality of road infrastructure, level of low enforcement, safety of vehicles and road user behavior are the issues that affect the road safety situation in Africa and beyond,”
Putting in place a fully functional central road safety data collection, treatment and dissemination system is also critical in evidence-based decision making.
The ECA in partnership with the UN agencies has brought together 20 African government ministries of infrastructure and transport, national road safety authorities and the private sector mainly to share experience in improving road safety with emphasis on urban mobility.
The ECA stressed on the need to join the UN organs, to work with African governments to address the issue of road safety and urban movement. Reducing road facilities is a specific target of the global SDGS to improve health, wellbeing, and improving access to safe transport system.