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Traffic system irregularity increases accidents in Somali capital

Thursday, December 26, 2013
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar

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Despite signs of more progress in place in Somali capital, where streets and main roads in the heart of the city have been reconstructed for the first time in more than two decades, the positive move forward seems to be the cause of another kind of deaths and devastations rather than cannons or stray bullets, that once were the main reasons for deaths in the war-weary capital.

In less than a week, more than 5 car accidents have been reported alongside the Maka Al-Mukarama Street in the city centre alone, causing deaths, wounds, destruction of vehicles and other properties.

The HOL, have looked into the matter in a bid to illustrate the main cause of the increasing car accidents in the capital and as a result we found out that due to four combined reasons car accidents have been on the rise Somali capital.

The main problem attributed to this include: Less experienced drivers mostly boys and girls in their 20s carelessly driving in the city with no driving licences,the exceeding number of cars travelling in the city’s busy streets and the difference between the traffic system in Somalia and the kind of cars used in the country.

The traffic system irregularity is described as the ‘major’ cause for the increase of car accidents in the capital Mogadishu which is currently recovering from decades of civil wars, devastation and the subdivisions once made by a dozen of warlords each controlled a piece of lands in the capital.

Earlier in the week, a 10-year old boy was killed after a luxury car ran over him, whilst the collision of 5 cars was reported along Maka Al-Mukarama Street according to Somali traffic police officers who arrested the driver of the car in the aftermath of the fatal accident.

A team of investigative journalists from HOL, have confirmed that more than 80% of the cars travelling in Somali capital are not compatible with the traffic system of streets in the country, as most cars are steering-wheel right, while the street system of Somalia is acceptable for steering-wheel left cars.

Somali traffic police Chief General Ali Hersi Barre said recently that the increasing accidents in the country were to be attributed to what he termed as ‘less experienced people who drive without driving licences’ although the difference between cars used in Somalia and the system of streets is seen as the major cause for the rise of car accidents.

However, the solar-powered lights which hang on the comely lamp posts across the city centre and other areas in the capital, the rebuilding of streets and with the slowly return of peace and stability were signs of a major development—then it seems that there was a giant task ahead which needs to be tackled.

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