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Combatting accidents on the roads

Sep 05,2019 - Last updated at Sep 05,2019

HRH Crown Prince Hussein paid a timely visit to the Public Security Department (PSD) on Wednesday to follow up on the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah to improve road safety for all after noting that road fatalities and injuries are still on the rise.

PSD Director Major General Fadel Hmoud and other senior officers at the department attended the meeting. HRH Crown Prince Hussein was visibly concerned that despite all the efforts undertaken by the authorities, road accidents are still on the rise at an alarming rate and claiming the lives of many people. The Crown Prince wants something concrete done about this crisis on the roads and streets of the country.

According to the PSD’s statistics, a total of 107,489 traffic accidents were recorded during the first eight months of this year, claiming the lives of 417 people of all ages and injuring 11,477 people, many of them critically and permanently. 

It seems that no matter how many efforts the PSD and other state agencies take to combat road accidents, they persist with a vengeance, as more and more people are either killed or seriously injured on almost a daily basis.

It is easy to put the blame for this crisis on poor road infrastructure and its inadequacies, yet on a closer look, it is drivers who must bear the brunt of responsibility for the carnage on the streets and roads of the country.

Other countries which face similar crises have resorted to stiffening fines for wrong driving habits, including speeding, use of telephones while behind the wheel and ignoring traffic rules.

As noted during the meeting, there is  need for a joint effort by all stakeholders to combat this scourge on the roads and streets of the country. Raising awareness about road accidents could be another way of combatting accidents on the roads and streets by giving them more news coverage.

There is a pressing need to promote more public awareness about the human and material costs of reckless driving. People should become more aware of the consequences of negligent driving habits. 

That does not mean that more does not need to be done to improve road and street safety by upgrading infrastructure. Amman is among the very few capitals of the world with a population over a million that still does not have clear lane lines on its streets. Yet, as was duly noted at the meeting, the responsibility to combat road fatalities and injuries is a joint effort.

The Crown Prince has sounded the alarm yet again and now is the time for other stakeholders to share this concern and start doing something tangible about it.

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