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Road traffic injuries affect the economy, health and quality of life of the people of Mozambique. Current road safety programmes are inadequate and inefficient given the magnitude of the problem. Data reported on road traffic crashes in the period 1990 to 2000 from the National Institute for Road Safety, the traffic police and the Central Hospital of Maputo were reviewed. The burden of road traffic injuries in Mozambique is rising, with at least three people killed daily. The age group most affected is 25-38 (39.35%), followed by 16-24 (20.79%). The main causes of crashes include reckless driving, drunken driving, roads with potholes, inadequate signs, lack of protection for pedestrians, and inadequate traffic law enforcement. However, the data are not adequate to reveal the true magnitude of the problem. Data collected by different sources are incomplete and not coordinated with other sources and databases. In urban areas, however, better response to crashes, treatment of the injured, reporting and data collection is attributable to a greater concentration of police and medical facilities. Road traffic safety programmes in Mozambique are inadequate and inefficient, starting with the data collection system. Improvement of injury surveillance systems is needed to help make road traffic safety a national development agenda priority and for developing and implementing road safety policies. For road safety programmes to be effective, government must facilitate stakeholders' involvement, and the clear definition of government activities, civil society activities and public-private partnerships need to be established.