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Bad Roads, Inferior Cars Blamed For Tens Of Thousands Of Deaths In Iran

IRAN -- Iranians gather at the site of a bus accident with a fuel truck in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran's Kurdistan province, July 11, 2018

Nearly 280,000 have been killed and more than four million injured in car accidents in over a decade in Iran, says the Islamic Republic's traffic police chief.

Iran, with a population of over eighty million has always been at the top of the international table for deadly car accidents since the downfall of the monarchy and advent of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Out of 190 countries, Iran has more deadly car accidents on the roads, immediately after Sierra Leone, a report compiled by the country's Central Insurance's research department says.

Speaking at the fringes of a ceremony commemorating car accident victims, traffic police chief, Taqi Mehri, said that 16,201 people lost their lives in car accidents in Iran, during the last Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2016-March 21, 2017).

"Since 2005, 277,000 have been killed and 4,300,000 injured in car accidents across the country," said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps General Mehri, adding, "Fifty percent of those killed in car accidents are 20-50-year old, while 8% of the victims are children."

The high number of child victims have forced Iran's traffic police to make use of child seats obligatory.

Meanwhile, without elaboration, Mehri admitted that there are 3400 dangerous driving spots, nearly 2000 of them at the periphery of the cities in the country.

Exactly a year ago, Mehri had maintained that 459,000 lost their lives in traffic accidents in Iran within less than two decades since 1998. More than 4.5 million people were injured in accidents during the same time.

Considering that in the last nineteen years Iran's population has been between seventy and eighty million, this number constitutes a high rate of accident deaths.

Iranian New Year accidents killed more than a thousand people in March-April 2018.
Iranian New Year accidents killed more than a thousand people in March-April 2018.

The number of road fatalities in this time period, is higher than the official number of Iranian casualties in the eight- year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Radio Farda reported.

According to the World Health Organization's 2013 statistics, the average number of road accident deaths in the world is 17 per 100,000 inhabitants. Iran's average for the same year is 32 per 100,000, which is close to the highest accident deaths rates in the world.

Substandard roads, inferior cars, lack of proper training, and inadequate enforcement of laws are the major reasons for traffic accidents in Iran.
Roads, particularly in mountainous regions are old and not upgraded since decades.

Many car accidents in Iran occur during the two-weeks long No-Rooz holidays (Iranian new year, beginning March 21).

With 1,535 victims, the 2008 No-Rooz is the record holder for the highest car accident fatality rate in Iran.

Based on the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) report, 11,870 lost their lives in the past decade during the new year holidays.

Furthermore, the Legal Medical Organization (LMO) of Iran says that the number of victims of car accidents during the last official No-Rooz holidays was 24% higher than the previous year.

Traffic incidents are the reason for some national tragedies in Iran. In March 1998, a bus carrying some of Iranian elite students crashed and left 11 people dead. Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematics Professor and Fields Medal winner who died in July due to cancer, was among the survivors of the accident.