Analysis of traffic accidents in Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana, a developing country in southern Africa, has not been spared the proliferating scourge of traffic accidents that is sweeping across the world. After HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents are the second largest cause of unnatural deaths in Botswana. The country is losing two per cent of its GDP every year to traffic accident costs. Furthermore, road safety is one of the major challenges the country will have to overcome in order to achieve its Vision 2016. This study investigates traffic accidents in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, for the years 2000 and 2005. The study analyses the characteristics of traffic accidents, examines their causes, maps the spatial distribution of traffic accidents for 2000 and 2005, and outlines the countermeasures government is instituting to curb accidents. The main data on traffic accidents used was extracted from the microcomputer accidents analysis package V5.0 (MAAP 5) obtained from the Traffic Police Division. Semi-structured interviews with transport and safety officers, traffic police and other stakeholders were conducted. The interviews were mainly about what government is doing to reduce the carnage caused by traffic accidents. Existing reports were also used as data sources. Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS 9.1 packages were used to do the analyses. The road casualties of drivers/riders are concentrated in the economically active age category of 15-64 years (95% for all casualties). In particular, the casualties are very high in the 20-39 age cohort with one third and three quarters of all casualties for 2000 and 2005 respectively. In addition, driver casualties by gender for the 20-39 age cohort show a high representation of males, namely 57% and 64% for 2000 and 2005 respectively.