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Open Access Research article

Effectiveness of an improved road safety policy in Ethiopia: an interrupted time series study

Teferi Abegaz1*, Yemane Berhane2, Alemayehu Worku3 and Abebe Assrat4

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public and Environmental Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

2 Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4 Ministry of Transport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:539  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-539

Published: 31 May 2014

Abstract

Background

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in implementing road safety policy by different low income countries. However; the evidence is scarce on its success in the reduction of crashes, injuries and deaths. This study was conducted to assess whether road crashes, injuries and fatalities was reduced following the road safety regulation introduced as of September 2007 by Oromia Regional State Transport Bureau.

Methods

Routine road traffic accident data for the year 2002-2011were collected from sixteen traffic police offices. Data on average daily vehicle flow was obtained from the Ethiopian Road Authority. Interrupted time series design using segmented linear regression model was applied to estimate the effect of an improved road safety policy.

Results

A total of 4,053 crashes occurred on Addis Ababa - Adama/Hawassa main road. Of these crashes, almost half 46.4% (1,880) were property damage, 29.4% (1,193) were fatal and 24.2% (980) injury crashes, resulting 1,392 fatalities and 1,749 injuries. There were statistically significant reductions in non-injury crashes and deaths. Non-injury crash was reduced by 19% and fatality by 12.4% in the first year of implementing the revised transport safety regulation.

Conclusion

Although revised road safety policy helped in reducing motor vehicle crashes and associated fatalities, the overall incidence rate is still very high. Further action is required to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

Keywords:
Road crash; Road injury; Road death; Road safety law effectiveness