The project, delivered by InnoConnect, helps to improve traffic safety in Addis Ababa by helping policy makers and city operators make decisions based on data-driven insights. The project is supported by the United Nations Development Programme and situated in the framework of the Initiative for Global Road Safety.
The world is a dangerous place. According to WHO, 1.35 million people across the world die every year on roads and highways. 90% of these fatalities happen in Low and Middle Income Countries. WHO estimates more than 27.000 road crash fatalities in Ethiopia which corresponds to 26,7 fatalities per 100.000 population. However only about 4.300 fatalities per year are officially reported in Ethiopia.
The causes are all connected yet many urban approaches to managing roads still centre heavily on economic objectives rather than the need for road safety. To produce positive road safety outcomes, strong management in all aspects of road safety is key. Many cities have created and adopted urban mobility plans and strategies. However, the data used to inform these strategies often come from siloed sources and so helpful insights that could be used to inform traffic safety policy remain unlocked.
During the road safety workshop organised on 30 August 2023 with Addis Ababa road safety experts, InnoConnect released the Road Crash Analytical Map of Addis Ababa. It helps city decision makers at different levels of governance gain data driven insights to better design, implement and evaluate measures aimed at reducing fatal and severe road crashes. The stakeholders, among others Traffic Management Agency of Addis Ababa, traffic police, G&Y Engineering Consult, and the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, exchanged on the crash data collection and management, shared experience on data cleaning and interpretation and discussed road safety policies in Ethiopia and EU.
The road safety experts stressed the importance of accurate crash data recording. The Traffic Management Agency of Addis Ababa (TMA), supported by the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, have been working in the last years towards significant improvements in the process of collecting crash records. Improvements include new standard electronic crash forms to be filled by police officers, increase in data quality thanks to training police personnel on how to collect and record the information on road crashes, as well as establishment of an IT infrastructure that will store crash data from the whole city in a single database and will thus allow an efficient analysis by the TMA’s data unit.
Jiri Bouchal, CEO and co-founder at InnoConnect, demonstrated broad functionalities of the newly released Road Crash Analytical Map. The web application allows a detailed analysis of road crashes data to identify high-risk locations, to get in-depth knowledge of factors that increase risk of severe incidents, and to visualise specific information about single crashes. Jiri shared experience of InnoConnect gained during the processing and cleaning of road crash data provided by the Ethiopian partners, suggested improvements in categorisation of attributes, stressed the importance of accuracy of the crash data collected by police and demonstrated what information on road crashes is collected in police statistics in Europe. The recommendations provided to the Addis Ababa road safety experts include:
- Suggestions how to avoid the identified data quality issues
- Train police personnel how to capture and record crash data
- Establish single data collection process by electronic means
- Implement single data repository
- Publish road crash data as machine-readable open data
The Addis Ababa’s traffic safety experts clearly identified the added value of the new Road Crash Analytical Map for their policy making as well as daily police operations, especially for the following needs:
- Crashes Blackspot Management
- Identification of locations to implement Low speed Zones
- Intelligence-led policing
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Evaluating effectiveness of interventions
- Safe intersections program
Hugo Kerschot, co-founder of InnoConnect, provided examples of European good practices in road safety. Examples included the identification of crash blackspots near schools in Flanders and subsequent measures adopted to improve road safety – the School Street, i.e. a temporary closure of the street for all motorised traffic during the beginning and end of a school day. The school street effectiveness is then evaluated by the road crash data analysis, sensor measurements of traffic density and its modal split, and air quality monitoring over time – before and after the school street measure was implemented.
Another road safety measure recommended was the introduction of the Average Speed Control Zones in the streets with a high occurrence of severe crashes. The average speed of vehicles is measured by traffic cameras on longer road segments, resulting in more effective speed limit enforcement compared to the usual speed cameras that measure speed at a single location. The deployment of the Average Speed Controle Zones in Flanders, Belgium, clearly shows the decrease of road crashes in these zones over time.
The project Safer Roads in Ethiopia through Identification of High-risk Locations is delivered by InnoConnect, the Czech SME focused on mobility-related data analytics. The project has been supported by the United Nations Development Programme (Czech-UNDP Challenge Fund) with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
Local partners involved in the project are G and Y Engineering Consult PLC and Addis Ababa City Administration Traffic Management Agency.