Alarms triggered in Iran over fatal traffic accidents

Society Materials 29 March 2016 23:00 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 29

By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:

The number of traffic fatalities across Iran has dramatically risen over the past couple of weeks as every one hour one person has died on roads in the country.

Traffic collisions claimed 300 lives just in14 days since March 15 as Iranian holidaymakers launched Nowruz trips, getting ready to mark the New Persian Year, 1395. Iranians traditionally celebrate their new-year festival, Nowruz, on March 20/21 marking the beginning of spring.

Although on the eve of the new Iranian year, the officials launched a campaign namely "No to Road Accidents" calling on people to observe traffic codes, the mortality and injury rates caused by road accidents increased during the holidays.

Over 14000 people lost their lives in the traffic accidents in the first 10 months of the last Iranian calendar year 1394 (March - December 2015), Iranian Legal Medicine Organization said.

According to the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the rate of road accidents in Iran is twenty times more than the world's average and traffic accidents on the country's roads cause thousands of deaths and injuries every year, as well as costing the country's economy billions of dollars.

While road traffics accidents kill 1.2 million people every year and leave 20-50 million people injured and disabled in the world, road traffic crashes kill nearly 28,000 people only in Iran, and injure or disable 300,000 more.

A group of Iranians took to social media platforms to discuss the dramatic increase of the fatalities of the road accidents. A group of social media users have suggested that majority of the road traffic deaths in the country occur due to sub-standard cars and roads.

However, others blame drivers for failing to observe the traffic rules, suggesting the country suffers from the lack of proper training for drivers.

Social media users believe that talking on mobile phones, failing to follow traffic rules and excessive speed are among other reasons behind the fatal traffic accidents in the country.

The social media users eventually demanded the government to increase the number of awareness-raising campaigns as well as punitive measures for traffic offenders to deal with the increasing number of fatal accidents.

Traffic fatalities cost Iran's economy six billion US dollar every year, which amounts to more than five per cent of the country's Gross National Product.

Given the social media comments on the issue in question and also considering the fact that the highest price the country pays for car crashes is in the loss of human lives, Iranian officials are required to address several key issues including road design and infrastructure as well as traffic code and the quality of home-made cars aimed at reducing the number of crashes and the frequency and severity of traffic-related injuries.

It is notable that road traffic crashes can be prevented as they are predictable and many countries have achieved sharp reductions in the number of crashes.

Farhad Daneshvar is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Farhad_Danesh