Road safety problems of developing and developed countries

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BK Yanney

The population of major cities in African and Latin American countries hasmore than doubled over the last twenty years. The population growth hasbrought with it a corresponding increase in vehicle ownership. Despite theincrease in vehicle ownership, developing countries have not embarked uponany meaningful and sustainable transport management programs. In big citiesof developing countries, congestion created by illegal parking, hawkers, andstreet vendors trying to make a living in the face of harsh economic reformshave all contributed to transportation safety problems. Accident rates indeveloping countries have been estimated to be 20 - 30 times higher than inEuropean countries. The escalating vehicle accident rates have created heavydrain on the economies of the developing countries, which continue to importtransportation components using their scarce foreign exchange reserves. Theneed for effective transportation management backed by research cannottherefore be over-emphasised. The paper discusses the accident rates for somedeveloped and developing countries and attempts to identify areas forresearch. Accident fatality rates in developing countries have been comparedwith those in developed countries.

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