Mon 13 Jul 2020

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Idlib streets overcrowded with cars and passers-by amid absence of traffic lights

Regulating traffic in the streets of Idlib - January 2020 (Enab Baladi)

Regulating traffic in the streets of Idlib - January 2020 (Enab Baladi)

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 The National Salvation Government, which administers the Idlib Governorate, says that the traffic jam is justified, because of the large numbers of residents in the city (Idlib citizens and the displaced residents).

However, the residents of Idlib say that this traffic jam has become a source of danger and chaos in the city, as streets witness daily cars or motorcycles accidents.

Besides, passers-by are suffering from severe injuries due to the absence of traffic lights and signs that regulate traffic. Regulating the traffic was limited to the personnel of the Traffic Police Center, which was established in mid-2018, by the Ministry of Interior of the National Salvation Government.

Enab Baladi surveyed the opinions of some residents in Idlib about the traffic problem through “what is your problem” program, which is broadcast on its social media platforms, on Mondays and Fridays.

Idlib residents, who were surveyed by Enab Baladi, complained that they were unable to move comfortably in the city streets, due to the suffocating congestion that causes permanent damages for car owners.

According to what Enab Baladi monitored, most of the main streets of Idlib have traffic police personnel, and they are trying to organize the traffic. Still, their effort, according to citizens, is not enough. They stressed on the need to find a radical solution that alleviates their suffering.

The solutions include activating traffic lights on the city streets, due to a large number of cars that move around, in addition to the necessity of activating accountability procedures against those who commit violations.

According to the poll, the responsibility rests with the National Salvation Government that manages the city, specifically its traffic police branch, whose members realize the seriousness of the city’s traffic problem.

Enab Baladi tried several times to communicate with the Traffic Department in the city of Idlib, to convey the problem of the residents about the stifling traffic in the city, but without getting a response.

100 elements

 Two days after the episode “What is your problem” about traffic congestion in Idlib, on January 23, Sham News Agency, affiliated to the National Salvation Government, held a meeting with the Head of the Idlib Traffic Branch, Major Ahmad Fawaz al-Hamwi, who confirmed the problem. He indicated that it is difficult to solve it in light of a large number of cars in the city.

Al-Hamwi explained that the Traffic Branch in Idlib consists of four main sections. The main section is operations. It is considered the backbone of the Branch and includes two-thirds of the staff. He also asserted that its role is to regulate traffic and control the observed violations.

Al-Hamwi added that the number of elements of the Traffic Branch is about 100, distributed in several sections, and each of them has a special mission to carry out. He noted that most of the Branch’s members are defectors from the Syrian regime police, and they place their experience according to their specialization.

He clarified that they have sufficient experience in organizing traffic, investigating traffic accidents and dealing with them in appropriate ways.

No solutions

 On the congestion in the city of Idlib, al-Hamwi said that it is caused by the vast population density that increased after the recent wave of displacement, which, in turn, increased the pressure on the traffic police, in the absence of traffic culture among people, and the lack of traffic lights. He also pointed out that the streets are narrow and not qualified to absorb this number of vehicles.

Al-Hamwi argued that the focus is currently on following up on the flagrant violations that endanger the lives of the people, including “prohibited traffic, mindless driving, suctioning of wheels, youth riding of motorcycles, and following-up cars not registered at the Transportation Directorate.”

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