Assessment of Drivers’ Comprehension of Traffic Control Devices (The Case of Addis Ababa)

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Addis Ababa University


Traffic control devices provide essential information to road users for their safe and efficient maneuvering on the road. The driving behavior of drivers in Addis Ababa City is rarely in compliance with the traffic control devices. There is no literature on drivers’ compliance towards traffic control devices in Addis Ababa city. The main objective of this research is to identify which drivers’ personal characteristics played prominent roles in drivers’ understanding of traffic control devices and to investigate the driver compliance to signalize and two-way stop control intersections. To study driver’s comprehension of traffic control devices in Addis Ababa, Churchill to Stadium segment and Semien Mezagjah TWSC intersection were selected. They consisted of four traffic signalized intersections namely Eliana, Tracon, EBC, and Harambe, and also have speed limit sign, No entry, road marking, No parking sign, No U-turn sign, and No left turn. Data collection was done using a questionnaire and video recordings. 385 drivers were interviewed to determine factors affects driver’s compliance of traffic control devices and video recording of four traffic signalized intersection and one two-way stop-controlled intersection at peak hours on Tuesday and Wednesday in the morning and afternoon to determine the correlation between traffic volume and violation rate of signalized intersections. Chi-square test was used to identify factors affecting driver’s compliance of traffic control devices while Correlation analysis was used to describe the relationship between traffic volume and violation rate at the signalized intersection. Gender, age, educational background, driving experience, and type of vehicle driven were found as dominant factors affecting drivers’ comprehension of traffic control devices. All variables were found statistically significant at 95% of significance to predict driver’s compliance with traffic control devices. Correlation analysis suggests that right turn on red (no stop) violation rate and right turn volume are correlated positively (r=0.905). This indicates that as of right turn volume increases, the right turn on red (no stop) violation rate increases. Running on red light rate and through, left-turn traffic volume, total violation rate and total traffic volume were found negatively correlated with r=-0.74 and r=-0.841 respectively. This indicates that as of traffic volume increases, the violation rate decreases. In addition, reasons for noncompliance with traffic control devices are most likely related to the personal reason of drivers.



Compliance, Traffic control device, Chi-square, Right turn on red, Peak hours