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The Number of People who Died in Traffic Incidents in Africa Rose by 17% in the Past Decade

The Road Safety report found that nearly one in five fatal traffic incidents across the world occurred in Africa. “Part of the reason for increased fatalities in Africa is the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads,” said Nhan Tran, leader of WHO’s safety and mobility unit and the lead author of the report. Experts say a big increase in the number of motorbikes is partly to blame for the rise in road deaths. In eastern Africa, motorbike taxis – called boda boda, piki piki or moto – have become increasingly popular, filling the gaps in public transport. Campaigners say many motorbike riders fail to wear effective helmets, putting them at greater risk. Many countries, including Rwanda and Kenya, legally require drivers and passengers to use them. While the compliance rate is close to 100% in Rwanda, in Kenya the law is not well enforced, with about 40% of drivers wearing them.