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New penalty system to improve road safety in Ivory Coast

Ivorian police officers look at the list of offences against motorists at a police checkpoint near Grand Bassam   -  
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Ivory Coast

A new penalty system has been introduced in Ivory Coast to boost road safety.

Penalties will cost points to drivers in a bid to reduce the number of deaths that last year reached over one thousand, according to official figures.

"I think it is a good initiative, because today there are so many accidents, there are so many drivers, if I may say so. So with this, I think it can get each of us to really settle down about driving", said Fernandez Depri, a surveyor who has paid several traffic tickets.

The new system, based on a French model, is automated and drivers receive fines electronically

Payment also ensures the money goes to the state.

"Paying, getting a receipt is even more secure since it goes into the state coffers", said professional driver Marius Assi.

"We will no longer have all the police officers to monitor you. But there are cameras watching you. And so in the mind of each driver they must be aware that speeding of more than 1 to 20, or 25 kms here it will cost points so he must behave well'", added Raphaël Gossan, Deputy Director, Road Safety Special Police.

Ivory Coast hopes its new road safety campaign can help to cut road deaths by as much as half by 2025. The authorities are investing heavily in raising awareness among drivers.

Ivorian Minister of Transport, Amadou Koné, is confident that these efforts will bring results.

"With the videoconferencing, the road safety strategy, the point permit, the awareness campaigns that we make, the road safety week that was therefore introduced, that every week we can raise awareness - since it is 80% awareness, it is to sensitize our compatriots, we think that at the end of this year we could also have convincing results", said the Ivorian Minister of Transport.

According to official figures, the number of road deaths in Ivory Coast dropped last year to 1,051 from 1,614 a year earlier.

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