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EghtesadOnline: Poor roads, substandard automobiles plus reckless driving are pushing up road fatalities, says a Traffic Police deputy chief.

Ayoub Soleimani pointed to the rising rate of road fatalities and called for “effective measures to help protect the thousands of innocent lives lost to road accidents every year,” the news website Asre Khodro reported.

Charts from the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization show indicate that during the first half of the current fiscal year to September, over 8,800 road deaths were recorded, which is 1.7% higher than the corresponding period last year when 8,600 people lost their lives.  

The LMO has published detailed reports on road fatalities over the past 13 years. According to the published data, in the fiscal ending in March 2005, more than 28,000 people died in road accidents. The number dropped to 15,900 in the Iranian year that ended in March 2016, according to Financial Tribune.

However, the number of road fatalities has been of the ascending order since March 2016.  Road accidents claimed 16,201 lives in the last Iranian year that ended in March -- 1.9% higher than a year earlier.

The troubling news is also confirmed by the World Health Organization -- ranking Iran as the 38th country with the world's worst roads.

Earlier in the week, Traffic Police Chief General Taqi Mehri told reporters, “Traffic Police had to fight hard and long for implementation of basic motor vehicle safety standards … Only 30% of cars made in Iran are safe.”

Mehri later told ISNA that the share of road traffic mortalities caused by bad driving and violation of traffic rules can be reduced with stricter penalties and heavier fines. “The fines should be increased in order to make them more effective," Mehri said.

The higher fines have been drafted and submitted to the government for approval. 

Furthermore, Traffic Police is poised to enhance its control network with the help of new surveillance cameras.

As part of a project backed by the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, intercity roads will be equipped with 4,000 new cameras. The project is financed by the Plan and Budget Organization and is expected to be concluded in five years and cost 10 trillion rials ($92 million).


Iran Road Fatalities Roads automobiles driving