Traffic accidents kill 22 people in northern Syria in 2022
Traffic accidents have become a general phenomenon and an almost daily situation in northern Syria. Rainfall has increased in frequency, resulting in loss of life and damage to property.
Despite recommendations and instructions to reduce them and decisions from local authorities to license new driving schools, the region is still witnessing terrible accidents.
Deaths and injuries, causes still present
The Syria Civil Defense, the local rescue agency, responded from the beginning of 2022 until the end of November to more than 1,500 traffic accidents in northwestern Syria.
The accidents led to the death of more than 22 people, including seven children and two women, and the injury of more than 1,380 people, including 441 children and 159 women, according to the latest statistics obtained by Enab Baladi from the Civil Defense.
Hassan al-Hassan, director of the Southern Directorate of the Syria Civil Defense, told Enab Baladi that road accidents had become a “black hole” that takes the lives of civilians and causes permanent disabilities for many and that the rate of accidents increases during the winter due to fog or car skids.
The main causes of accidents are excessive speed, the absence of traffic laws, children driving cars and motorcycles, the high population density in the area, and the overloading of cars, especially trucks, al-Hassan added.
According to the Civil Defense official, the poor quality of the roads, which have been subjected to intense bombardment by the Syrian regime and Russia, is one of the causes of traffic accidents.
In addition to relying heavily on secondary and mountain streets, especially after the Syrian regime and Russia took control of various regions, cutting off main roads and the use of unequipped roads to serve large numbers of civilians.
With the aim of informing drivers of speed limits on the roads and the locations of pedestrian paths, in order to reduce traffic accidents, the Civil Defense, either individually or in cooperation with local activities, has launched several initiatives to install traffic signs on many roads in northwestern Syria.
In view of the large number of accidents caused by beginners’ driving, the Syria Salvation Government (SSG) operating in Idlib issued a decision on 24 December 2022, licensing 15 schools specialized in driving vehicles and prohibiting random driving training inside towns or on the roads.
According to the SSG’s decision, it subjected the trainers to courses that include education on traffic regulations and practical training, in addition to teaching the principles of emergency vehicle maintenance and management courses to teach the trainees easy methods with the allocation of cars that are controlled by the trainer and the trainee, and training on vehicles inside cities or on the roads was prohibited except through private schools that have a license from the Public Transport Corporation affiliated to the Salvation Government.
Traffic police and civil police are also deployed on the roads of northern Syria to control traffic and reduce drivers’ speed.
Repeated recommendations issued by the Civil Defense agency regarding the need to exercise caution, avoid excessive speed, and follow safety rules to reduce recurring traffic accidents.
“Reducing traffic accidents is an integrated process that begins primarily with drivers and civilians and their commitment to safety measures and ends with road quality,” says the director of the Southern Directorate of the Civil Defense.
The main factor lies in avoiding accidents by following the general instructions and procedures of driving and not neglecting them, al-Hassan added.
Among the most important of these instructions are not to speed while driving, to avoid using the phone, not to be preoccupied with drinks and food while driving, to maintain a distance between the vehicle and other vehicles, and many other general measures.
One of the most important factors that mitigate accidents is also the presence of an authority that controls the driving of cars, their weights, speeds, and traffic laws, and their imposition is mandatory, and children are not allowed to drive motorcycles or cars.
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