The Federal Transport Authority (FTA) has drafted a new directive that will penalise pedestrians who do not obey conducts of road safety, such as walking on the left side of a one-way road and crossing the streets properly.
The Authority has been drafting the directive for the past seven months following the coming into action of the amended regulation to control the traffic system in December 2016. The directive will be effective throughout the country starting from next year.
Although the regulation provides for the control of the entire traffic system, the new directive will specifically deal with the conduct of pedestrians. Accordingly, the directive is to provide detailed monetary punishment that ranges from 40 Br to 80 Br, adding to community service for pedestrians that violate the regulation.
The directive also aims to minimise traffic accidents that are caused as a result of negligence, according to Yigzaw Dagnew, director of communications at the Authority.
Additionally, it will incorporate punishment on pedestrians that stand idly or walk on streets that are only allowed for vehicles, as well as on those that cross the street jumping over concrete and steel barriers, and those who cross the street on ring roads, which are not allowed for pedestrians.
The monetary punishments will also be imposed on those that put materials or conduct trading activities on sidewalks. Pedestrians that cross the street with headsets on will also be subjected to a fine.
Moreover, a person who fails to improve their act, those who were fined more than once and those who cannot afford the fines, will be subjected to community service that will range from cleaning the streets to planting trees based on the repetition of the offences.
Currently, the Authority is holding discussions with the community members on the directive, according to Yigzaw.
“Road accidents are causing significant mortality rates in the country, and a big legal, regulatory gap was observed on the conduct of pedestrians,” he explained.
Ever since 2006, on average 400 traffic fatalities are experienced in Addis Abeba yearly, out of which 88pc is on pedestrians. Within the past year alone, 463 people have been killed in road accidents, and property damages worth 1.3 million dollars have occurred, according to the Addis Ababa Police Commission.
Police officers and code enforcers that are under the administration of different Weredas and regulatory bodies will enforce the applicability of the new law.
Pedestrians are among the four major causes of traffic accidents along with drivers, technical problems of vehicles and problems on roads, according to Assistant Inspector Assefa Mezgebu.
“Regulating pedestrians makes a significant difference. Although we couldn’t continue with it, seven years ago we started working on this issue and witnessed a 70pc decrease in the mortality rate of pedestrians in a year,” he asserted.
In addition to the directive, other works have also been conducted over the past few years to control the overwhelming increase in road accidents. The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA), in this regard, has been working to increase the road network of the city.
Accordingly, the road network of the city increased to 5,915km last year from 5,365km the previous year, thereby increasing the city’s road coverage from 20pc to 22pc.
Recent data launched in March 2017, stated that only 14pc of the roads in Addis Abeba is said to be safe for pedestrians. And Ethiopia remains one of the worst countries in road safety, according to reports of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Source : Fortune