S. Mavromatis, A. Laiou, G. Yannis, A. Tripodi, L. Persia
Reliable and accurate data are a fundamental prerequisite to understand the magnitude of road safety problems in Africa and convince stakeholders to take certain actions. Reliable and accurate data are also needed to identify problems, risk factors and priority areas in order to formulate strategies, set targets and monitor performance. Towards this direction, the objective of the present paper is to outline the results of a relevant survey undertaken within the EU funded SaferAfrica project in order to assess the current situation of Africa in terms of road safety data collection systems and definitions. In total, 29 road safety stakeholders, either governmental representatives or independent experts, from 21 African countries participated in the survey. The assessment of the existing road safety data collection systems in African countries revealed similarities but mostly differences since besides the existence of formal systems for recording road accidents for almost all countries, the data collection practices from the road safety monitoring and evaluation points of view are addressed in various ways. Based on the stakeholders’ responses it was found that there is a significant demand for data and knowledge in order to be used for road safety-related decision making. Currently, such information is poorly available in African countries. This fact makes the work of road safety stakeholders difficult, therefore, their discontent was expressed. In several cases, it was found that stakeholders are not even aware of the availability status of items that they consider to be irrelevant to their work. Generally, stakeholders seem to be poorly informed about the availability of road safety data and tools. A number of the questioned issues for many African countries are collected for the first time and can be very useful to road safety decision-makers to take into consideration for future actions.
Keywords: road safety; SaferAfrica; data collection; questionnaire