The Trouble with Developing Countries?
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Kwazulu-Natal: South Africa.
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Introduction.
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The original article 'The Trouble with Developing Countries' was written in response to a number of e-mails from Organisations in Developing Countries about their problems.  The main article covers general problems relevant to many of these counties and these sub-articles are concerned with the more specific problems we have been asked about.  A sample of their e-mails are include at the beginning which are an abridged version of their comments and/or questions followed by our reply.  [See... Global Road Safety Report: pdf.]
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Abridged E-mail.
We have experienced an enormous problem with pedestrian deaths over holiday periods... an average of 40 to 50% of road deaths each year.  Most of these are alcohol related but also ignorance of road usage amongst our rural people.  Education is not easy with this market because of the inaccessibility of most areas.  
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We do have a campaign running with a "Hot Line" where drivers & other road user are asked to "Get involved & take action" by reporting bad or reckless driving... this has been fairly successful... but any more info would be extremely helpful.  
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Elsa Smith  Dept. of Transport Kwazulu-Natal, S.A. 
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Reply.
The problems we outlined in the article 'The Trouble with Developing Countries' were taken directly from a report by the World Health Org. which are setting up a committee to specifically look into the problems of road safety in developing countries.  [These organisations are not noted for coming up with results very quickly, so expect a report in about five years.]  It was their conclusion, that the core problem was one of driver behaviour and that developing countries would have to come up with their own innovative ideas as there were no ready made solutions: so unfortunately we cannot point you in the direction of any instant solutions at present.  
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We know you can't possibly educate everyone to be careful walking along the roads particularly when they get drunk, so again we come back to the issue of the drivers.  We have experience of travelling on public transport in quite a few developing countries.  With regard to your problem, it always amazes us how buses drive at full speed when very close to cyclists, pedestrians, young children, animals, etc: they just blow their horns, drive straight through and expect that everyone will get out of their way: and most of the time they do.  Basically, they adhere to the 'might is right' philosophy: you can forget about the rules, the one with the biggest vehicle has right of way!
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On many journeys, we could have identified a driver who was posing a serious risk to others, and detailed the exact reasons why they were a risk.  Once you've done that, you are at least, in a position to take measures to ensure that they are not such a threat in the future.
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However you go about it, we believe you need to go through this kind of process: getting 'people' to report what they see happening on the roads, identify those who are putting lives at risk, exactly what they are doing and then make contact with them.  You need to lay it out in no uncertain terms, 'we know what you are doing and it has to stop': it's dangerous, explain why, tell them what you expect in future, that you will be checking up and the consequences of failing to comply.  The one thing we can tell you, is that Education programmes on their own are time consuming/expensive and not very effective.  [See blinkx Videos for more Information and News stories on this subject.]
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2007.  They have set up a National Traffic Call Centre... where members of the public who have volunteered to become "Traffic Observers" can make reports by phone... or online about a whole range of dangerous and corrupt behaviour.  Volunteers need to register, but do not need to be drivers or car owners.  A copy of any report is sent to the registered owner... and any persistent offenders will get a visit from their local Traffic Police.  [See... Arrive Alive - South Africa.]
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