Accepted paper:

A perforated water skin: safety on paved highways in Sudan


Osman Ali (University of Khartoum)

Paper short abstract:

Using an anthropological perspective, the paper focuses on the safe use of paved motor highways in Sudan. Besides assessing statistics on traffic accidents and their frequently reported types and causes, it tackles a number of neglected related socio-cultural issues.

Paper long abstract:

The paper focuses on the safe use of paved motor roads, which means protecting the road users (i.e., pedestrians, drivers and passengers) against traffic accidents and the resulting hazards like deaths, injuries and damage of properties. It firstly assesses the most recent statistics on traffic accidents on the "national" paved highways in Sudan and their frequently reported types and causes. The traffic accidents as social occasions, the debate on causes and consequences of traffic accidents, the community efforts made for maintaining traffic safety on highways, the unfriendly relationship between motorists and traffic police, and the effectiveness of state regulatory apparatus are also tackled in the paper. The paper further deals with the case of Khartoum-Madani road that is considered to be the most dangerous highway in Sudan in order to put a hand on some important social aspects and local interpretations of traffic accidents. The anthropological perspective, on which the present paper is based, was missing in all previous studies on road traffic accidents in Sudan, which, as a result, neglected important related socio-cultural issues. This is to say; the paper uses a different perspective in addressing somewhat different issues.

panel P095
The road to perdition: road danger and predatory transport policies in Africa