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34 killed in road accidents during Ramadan — PSD

By JT - Jun 29,2016 - Last updated at Jun 29,2016

People gather around two vehicles that collided near the Jubilee Tunnel in the Gardens Street in Amman on Tuesday. No injuries were reported in the accident (Photo courtesy of Amen FM)

AMMAN — Thirty-four people have been killed and 875 injured in road accidents during the first three weeks of Ramadan, officials said on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, 10 people were injured, one critically, when two vehicles collided in Safut, north of Amman, the Civil Defence Department (CDD) said in a statement.

CDD personnel rushed them to the Prince Hussein Hospital and Al Israa Hospital, the CDD said.

Also in Amman, two cars collided near the Waha (Jubilee) Tunnel on Gardens (Wasfi Tal) Street, according to the radio station of the Public Security Department (PSD) Amen FM, which said that no injuries were reported.

According to the PSD, there have been 579 road accidents, causing 34 deaths, 776 moderate injuries and 99 severe injuries so far in Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The Central Traffic Department carried out a comprehensive traffic plan in Amman and the governorates, which had a positive impact on road safety, PSD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said.

Road accidents usually increase during the fasting month, but the number of accidents this year dropped compared to last Ramadan, when 43 people were killed in 898 accidents.

Sartawi said traffic personnel have concentrated their efforts around bakeries, grocery shops, takeaway restaurants and sweets shops, which usually witness increased traffic congestion during Ramadan.

Most of the traffic violations committed during the fasting month have been parking offences, the spokesperson added.

President of the Society for the Prevention of Road Accidents Nizar Abbadi said the rise in the number of cars on the road complicates the traffic problem, particularly before the iftar meal at sunset, when Muslims break the daily fast.

Traffic congestion increases and motorists tend to violate the speed limit at this time, Abbadi said, urging motorists to avoid driving just before sunset.

The CDD said that it has been working with other concerned authorities since the beginning of Ramadan to raise awareness about observing speed limits and to encourage people not to leave their houses shortly before the iftar meal.

Ibrahim Badran, the president of a charitable society, says his organisation has launched an initiative to provide small meals to drivers in a bid to reduce speeding at sunset, when drivers rush to break their fast.

President of the Jordan Psychological Association Samir Abu Moghli says fasting does not affect people’s behaviour, except in cases of dehydration.

The psychologist said that although some people may try to justify speeding or mistreating others by blaming their behaviour on fasting, it has not been scientifically proven that fasting has a negative impact on people.

In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, Amman Traffic Department Director Col. Bassem Kharabsheh  said that motorists tend “to become more aggressive, edgy and nervous” during Ramadan.

“From our experience, motorists in general are in a rush to catch the iftar meal and the lack of glucose in their system causes them to become mentally and physically weak,” Kharabsheh said earlier this month.

“They tend to lose their concentration, and at the same time, they speed to reach their destination,” he added.

The traffic official said this causes an “increase in traffic accidents especially in the last 15 minutes before iftar”.

 

Speeding, reckless driving, congestion, wrongful overtaking and tailgating are the main reasons behind accidents this month, according to the traffic official.

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