Semaine Internationale de la Courtoisie sur la Route
From 18 – 24 March 2018, NGOs and other organizations across Francophone countries will commemorate the Semaine Internationale de la Courtoise sur la Route, the international week of courtesy on the road.
Drivers are encouraged to follow the “10 Commandments of Courtesy on the Road.”
I keep my cool in all circumstances and do not get angry in traffic especially in congestion.
I do not forget danger on the road and stay focused entirely on my driving.
I remain focused on my driving know that I could be distracted by the use of technology (telephone, CD or DVD player, or GPS).
I accept the pace of other drivers, both male and female, and in particular, inexperienced drivers or elderly drivers.
I respect in all circumstances signposts for disabled people and emergency exits (fire, hospitals, schools).
I avoid consuming even reasonable amounts of alcohol or anything that reduces my capacity to drive and master my vehicle.
I am very attentive and considerate towards vulnerable road users, pedestrians, children, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
On the road, I avoid monopolizing the left-hand lane and I pull in after overtaking another vehicle.
I respect pedestrians and I do not park on sidewalks, cycle paths or overpasses.
I maintain my vehicle in good condition, in order to contribute to better safety for other people and the environment.
Alliance member, the Association des Familles de Victimes des Accidents de la Circulation (AFVAC), Cameroon, is one of the NGOs promoting the week. Their activities include a workshop at the University of Yaoundé led by young people, promotion via the media, and awareness campaigns at crossings, traffic lights, and government buildings. One of their activities is a quiz aimed at motorists. Try it out HERE (in French) and translated to English below (note that responses are based on statistics and conditions in Cameroon, which may not be the same in all countries.)
Even while respecting the speed limit, you can often be driving too fast.
Children are most often the victims of crashes when they are passengers in a car [in Cameroon].
Under-inflated tires burst more frequently than over-inflated tires.
Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day.
All modern cars, large and small, have roughly the same braking distance.
In a car, it is impossible to react instantly.
Even below the legal blood alcohol limit (0.5 grams per liter in Cameroon), alcohol affects ability to drive.
Most crashes happen on straight, well-laid roads that are in good condition.
A person is most likely to fall asleep at the wheel between 2.00 am and 5.00 am.
In rainy weather, braking distances are doubled.
NOTE: Answers are based on AFVAC’s data in Cameroon and may not be the same for all countries.
TRUE: maximum permissible speeds are “only in optimal traffic conditions”.
TRUE: in Cameroon, more than half of all child victims of road crashes under the age of 10 are passengers, most often in their parent’s car, hence the need for correctly installed child restraints.
TRUE: the heating of the tires caused by under-inflation is the main cause of tires bursting. This is why one should check tire pressure every month according to the recommended inflation pressures.
TRUE: Night traffic accounts for only 20% of traffic but 1/3 of injuries and half of those killed in Cameroon.
TRUE: the differences in braking distances from one vehicle to another are low: in the best conditions, it takes between 70 and 80 meters to go from 130 to 0 kilometers per hour.
TRUE: even if you are very careful, it takes about a second between the moment when you see an obstacle and when you start to act. During this second, we travel almost 14 meters at 50 kilometers per hour and more than 36m at 130 kilometers per hour.
TRUE: alcohol even in small amounts, causes a feeling of confidence that causes the driver to over- estimate his or her abilities and to take unusual risks. Avoiding alcohol before driving is a necessity.
TRUE: In the 2000s in Cameroon, most injuries occurred on straight roads. In most cases the roadway was in good condition.
TRUE: The maximum peaks of sleepiness are between 2.00 and 5.00 in the morning and between 13.00 and 15.00 in the afternoon, and these correspond to the times with the highest rates of crashes.
TRUE: on the same road, if the road surface is wet, it is logical that the braking distances will be doubled.