Making roads safer in Rwanda

A busy road in Rwanda
WHO/Riccardo Gangale

The road can be a dangerous place. In Africa, traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and fatality rates are the highest worldwide. Young road users are most at risk: traffic collisions are the third cause of death for children aged 5 to 14 years. A lack of awareness or of enforcement on key risk factors - excessive speed, driving under the influence, not wearing helmets or buckling seat-belts - threatens lives.

Efforts in Rwanda illustrate how to address the problem. With thousands hurt each year, the country started a comprehensive road safety initiative in 2001. An important element has been the enforcement of traffic laws and the deterrence of unsafe driving habits.

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