Road Casualties Climb Amid Curbs on Pandemic Mobility

People August 09, 2021 23:35 0 Road Casualties Climb Amid Curbs on Pandemic Mobility Road Casualties Climb Amid Curbs on Pandemic Mobility . . . . .

Iran’s road accident death rate has increased by 18% in the first fiscal quarter (March 21-June 21), while intercity travel restrictions are still in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data released by the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization reveal that 4,130 people died in road accidents during the period, which show an 18.6% decline compared with the corresponding period of last year when the road death toll was 3,482.
LMO’s charts indicate that the southern province of Fars tops other provinces with 346 road deaths, followed by Tehran Province with 279 and Kerman with 276 lost lives.
A closer review of numbers indicate that the road fatality rate in Fars was up 27.2% compared with the same period of last year, with the death toll of 74.
Similarly, figures in Tehran show a 0.7% rise, from 277 road deaths reported last year to 279. The death rate in Kerman registered a 26% increase, from 219 a year ago to 276.
Ilam, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari provinces had the lowest rates with 26, 62 and 63 deaths respectively during the period.
All the three provinces have recorded an increase in road deaths. The figures rose significantly by 41% and 37% in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari respectively. Ilam’s status, however, registered no change compared to the year-ago period.
Monthly comparisons also illustrate a 2.2% increase in road mortalities. During the month ending June 21, 1,535 people lost their lives in car accidents, while the year-ago month figure was 1,502.

Contributing Factors

Traffic police have long blamed domestic automakers, as the poor quality of their products and their inaction toward road tragedies continue to take a constant toll.
Car buyers and the general public for years have censured local manufacturers for the poor quality of their cars, but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
LMO earlier published a report on the role of small city car Pride, manufactured by automaker SAIPA, in road fatalities.
The report showed that road accidents claimed 206,049 lives in the 11-year period ending March 2019, 34% of which died in a Pride.
SAIPA says it sold over 7 million Prides since its production started in 1993 in Iran. Pride was based on a Kia Motor hatchback from the 1980s, the production of which was halted by the South Korean firm in 2000.
The same level of concern pertained to the low-quality Peugeot 405 model made by Iran Khodro Company.
Although these models were excluded from the automakers’ production list in early August 2020, dangerous cars are still plying the country’s roads and claiming innocent lives.
Dilapidated vehicles used in the public transportation fleet, especially urban and inter-city buses, have a big share in road accidents.
According to Roads Minister Mohammad Eslami, sleep-deprivation, speeding, overtaking from the wrong side, running a red light, talking on cellphone, text messaging and munching behind the wheel together with low-quality vehicles and roads are the main factors leading to road crashes.
Motorcyclists and their dangerous driving habits considerably contribute to the increasing number of road victims.

Road Analysis

Motorbikes are used for moving parcels and passengers in Iran and have been a major nuisance to residents of cities, because most bikers disregard traffic and safety rules.
Unsafe driving, alongside those who enter sidewalks, endangers the life of both motorcycle drivers and pedestrians, as the High Council for Coordination of Urban Traffic said earlier, motorcyclists are involved in almost 80% of the road mishaps and they account for around 46% of road crash fatalities.
Last year, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development released the result of its road analysis, saying the country has over 5,400 accident-prone areas, more than half of which are in urban areas.
In a bid to help safeguard lives, an application was launched to notify drivers of danger before getting close to accident-prone areas.
The app notifies them 800 meters before reaching those areas.
Despite the unrelenting efforts, stringent traffic and driving rules, bigger penalties for lawless drivers, bigger and broader roads, new highways and underpasses, the dire situation remains unchanged and people continue to die in road mishaps.

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