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UN special envoy on Road Security prescribes safety measures for Cameroon

United Nations Secretary General’s Special envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, has cautioned Cameroonians to avoid using phones while driving, since 90 percent of accidents are attributed to human weaknesses.

Jean Todt

Todt spoke to journalists after a meeting with Cameroons Public Works Minister, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, wherein he said even though the state of the road matters, most accidents globally are caused by human errors, which can be contained.

“When you drive don’t drink and avoid using telephones when driving,” Todt said. He added that “about 90 percent of road accidents worldwide are caused by human errors.”

The UN diplomat lamented on the rising road accidents in Cameroon, which he said caused more than 6000 deaths in 2016 alone according to statistics from the World Health Organisation.

Jean Todt also presented the Road Safety Performance Review of Cameroon, which according to him, is encouraging but more needs to be done. Todt who was on a two day visit to the country was expected to leave Cameroon on Wednesday for other African countries including Rwanda.

He came in just when the roads had taken the lives of several Cameroonians including the Divisional Officer of Figuil in the North, Abah Abah Prosper and his wife and first son.

According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, road traffic accidents are the 8th caused of deaths in Cameroon. In a press briefing last September 2017, Communications Minister, Issa Tchiroma stated that investigations have revealed that about 70 percent of all accidents in Cameroon are caused by human errors, while 20 percent is linked to the state of the road and 10% attributed to technical faults. However, with just over 5,000km of roads paved out of the existing 50,000km, Cameroon’s road network presents a very dire situation.

Not even the institution of road safety campaigns have reduced the rate of accidents, but most drivers complained of the State of road as being a hindrance to the country’s development.

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