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Cameroon bans night travel to fight drunk driving

All night-time public transit will be banned in Cameroon in an attempt to curb the high rate of drunk driving accidents on the country's roads.
Cameroon drunk night driving ban 28 06 11Enlarge
Traffic in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde. Cameroon has banned all night-time public transport on roads, including buses and taxis, in an attempt to curb accidents caused by drunk driving. (MARTIN VAN DER BELEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Cameroon is banning all night-time public transit, including buses and taxis, because of the high rate of fatal accidents caused by drunk driving on the country’s bad roads.

"Night traffic represents just about 5 percent of human transport, but represents 35 percent of road accidents," Aoudou Dotel Moussa from Cameroon’s transport ministry told Reuters.

Cameroon has some of Africa's worst roads. Less than 20 percent of the country’s roads are paved, the BBC reports.

About 1,258 people died in road accidents last year, with another 5,000 wounded, according to the transport ministry.

The night travel ban will be in effect between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Many Cameroonians have criticized the ban, including bar and night-club owners who say it will destroy their businesses.

Vegetable hawkers say the decision to halt all inter-city bus service at night will make it impossible for them to get produce to market, because their vegetables will wilt in the extreme midday heat.

"I am finished. This is too bad for me and my children," Grace Teboh, 49, told Reuters.

The BBC says that commuters may have to resort to sleeping by the roadside or walking home through the night.

While the legal blood alcohol level for drivers in Cameroon is 0.8. percent, “we have noticed during checks is that most drivers who ply our roads drink an average of five bottles of beer each day while on duty,” a senior police official recently told Africa Review.