Forged Driver’s Licenses, Road Accidents Are Huge Problems In Ethiopia

Forged Driver’s Licenses, Road Accidents Are Huge Problems In Ethiopia

When a contract company at the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam needed to hire a large number of drivers, it asked the Ethiopian transport authority to check the validity of applicants’ driver’s licenses.

Out of the 900 applicants, 380 submitted forged driver’s licenses, according to a report in TheEthiopianHerald.

Forged driver’s licenses and road accidents are major problems in Ethiopia, which is undergoing a renaissance in road, rail and air transport.

The country’s road network almost quadrupled from 26,000 kilometers in 1997 (16,155 miles) to nearly 100,000 kilometers at the end of 2014  (62,137 miles), according to WorldHighways.

In 2013-2014, more than 3,800 people died in road accidents in Ethiopia, which had a population of 94.1 million in 2013, according to World Bank.

Part of the problem is the huge number of forged driver’s licenses already in use, said Kassahun Hailemariam, director of the Federal Road Transport Authority. The authority launched the Djibouti Corridor Road Safety awareness program this week.

The Djibouti Corridor connects Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, according to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa website.

The majority of the Ethiopia’s imports and exports are transported along the corridor and it’s critical to protect it from traffic accidents that create obstacles and damage human life and property, Hailemariam said.

Ethiopia’s driving fatality rate has decreased, although it’s still high compared to other countries, Hailemariam. In 2000, there were 128 deaths per 10,000 vehicles. This has been reduced to 65 deaths per 10,000 vehicles.

World Health Organization data showed 3874.3 deaths per 100,000 vehicles in Ethiopia in 2000. The world average was 93.3 deaths per 100,000 vehicles that year. Out of 186 countries around the world, only six other countries had more vehicle fatalities than Ethiopia. These included Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, and Guinea.

The country initiated a 30-day awareness campaign for heavy truck drivers to reduce the number of road accidents along the corridor.