Traffic accidents kill 159, injure 1156 over the first half of Ramadan [Archives:2008/1194/Front Page]

September 29 2008

Mohammed Bin Sallam
SANA'A, Sept 23 ) The Interior Ministry's Traffic Department earlier this week released a report on the total number of traffic accident victims nationwide over the past 21 days of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to the report, as many as 159 people have been killed and 1159 others injured during the first half of Ramadan, and this is too much compared to other months of the year.

The report attributed these accidents to breakneck speed, poor car maintenance and poor awareness of traffic rules and regulations among drivers, who most often violate traffic laws. It also pointed poor road maintenance, non-abidance to technical criteria while implementing road projects, smuggled car spare parts and giving driving licenses to youngsters as being factors in the increase of road accidents.

The report indicated that 945 traffic accidents had occurred during the first three weeks of Ramadan, of which 466 were car collisions, 347 accidents running over pedestrians and 132 car turnovers.

According to the figures, up to 53 deaths had occurred per week, which indicates increase in the number of fatalities related to traffic accidents over the past days of Ramadan compared to an average of between 35 and 40 deaths in other months.

The Traffic Department expressed concern about the high number of traffic accident victims during the month of fasting, particularly as traffic jams and movement between governorates usually increase during the final days of the month.

The department fears that the final days of Ramadan may see more traffic accident victims, and this is based on its reading of last week's 351 accidents that killed 70 people and left 440 others wounded.

The most tragic road accident nationwide is the one that occurred in Damt District, Al-Dhalea governorate, last Saturday, killing 12 people and injuring 3 others.

The Traffic Department urged car drivers and road users to maintain full alert for the sake of their and others' safety.

Car drivers, from their side, criticized the Traffic Department and Public Works Authority for being careless in road maintenance, which should be undertaken to make them fit for vehicles. They complained of a lack of traffic signs to help guide them at intersections and avoid the holes in roads that cause numerous car accidents.