1. At the end of this training, what will staff be capable of doing exactly?
It should first be noted that the acquisition of these radars is part of all the actions taken by the Ministry of Transport (MINT) to reduce road accidents, especially those related to overspeeding. Indeed, each year, more than 1.3 million people die in the world as a result of a road accident and 50 million injured are recorded. In Cameroon, an average of 1200 persons are killed every year. 70% of these accidents are attributed to human errors, 2/3 of which are related to overspeeding. The situation therefore requires us to take strong measures to reverse the trend of road accidents caused by overspeeding. The new radars acquired are thus an ideal opportunity. With regard to training on the use of these radars, it should be noted that at the end of this training, the trained staff of the Ministry of Transport (OPJS) will be able to use the new semi-portable radars, the use of which can be broken down in three stages namely: the mounting or installation of the radar and its accessories, the flash of the vehicles in overspeeding, the processing of the data recorded by the radar and its exploitation.
2. What added value do these types of radars provide to road safety?
These types of radars have a major specificity which is its mobility. They can be deployed not only on roads, but also in urban areas, especially near schools, because statistics show that road accidents constitute the leading cause of death of children under 15 years of age; and such accidents usually occur during periods to and from school. Moreover, these radars present, in real time, the situation of the user caught overspeeding. And, the stored data is tamper-proof. These latest-generation radars will influence the behaviour of road users for it is now established that of the 70% of human factor that constitutes the causes of road accidents, 46% are attributed to overspeeding, making an average of between 460 and 552 persons killed every year in Cameroon.
3. In a hierarchical manner, what is the timeline of actions that you envisage as a result of this training as part of the implementation of the national road safety strategy?
It should be noted that through these radars, several actions are envisaged. Indeed, it will be a question of going beyond the traditional deterrence methods namely the payment of fines, a method that has shown its limits, because some users, when they take to the road manage to have some money to pay for cases of overspeeding. However, the payment of these fines does not solve the problem since the payment of a fine means that the risk of an accident was already present. We will therefore go beyond this payment by strengthening the implementation of instruments notably Article 11 of the CEMAC Code, which provides for the suspension of the driver’s licence of the driver who committed the overspeeding offence. The new radars will enable us to have all the data useful to implement this regulation. At the same time, the data recorded by these radars will enable us to draw statistics on the types of vehicles most involved in cases of overspeeding, the most concerned stretches of road, as well as the evolution of the trend of overspeeding offences. This will be, firstly, a means of evaluating the impact of actions carried out in the context of road safety and secondly, establishing a baseline situation with regard to overspeeding in Cameroon, which is useful for the implementation of effective actions to prevent road accidents related to overspeeding.
Interview by René Bertrand HANDY