AMMAN — Road accidents over the past decade have killed 7,869 people and injured 171,143 in the Kingdom, according to the Public Security Department (PSD).

“Financial and physical losses incurred over the past 10 years due to traffic accidents are huge and they have a negative impact on the entire society,” PSD Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Mohammad Raqqad said at the opening of the sixth Traffic Safety Conference-Jordan on Monday.

International experts in traffic safety are attending the two-day event.

Brig. Gen. Hassan Mheidat, assistant to the PSD director for traffic affairs, reviewed the PSD’s programmes and campaigns to decrease traffic accidents, adding that work is under way on developing the 2013-2017 traffic strategy.

Mheidat noted that more than 142,000 accidents took place in the Kingdom last year, resulting in 694 fatalities and 18,122 injuries, while financial losses amounted to about $440 million (around JD311 million).

“Traffic accidents represent a serious threat to the society. They have social, economic and security repercussions,” he said at the conference.

Citing international studies and figures, Mheidat said about 1.2 million people die annually due to traffic accidents worldwide, with another 50 million sustaining injuries.

He added that the annual losses as a result of traffic accidents worldwide are estimated at $500 billion.

In his speech at the event, the PSD official underlined the need to increase public awareness on the impact of road accidents, saying the conference provides a platform for exchanging ideas and expertise in reducing traffic accidents.

Kheir Jadaan, head of the conference’s scientific committee, said although it is difficult to prevent all accidents, it is necessary to develop strategies to limit them.

“Studies have proven that people are the main reason behind traffic accidents, therefore, campaigns and programmes should focus on raising public awareness,” Jadaan added.

Conference participants highlighted the importance of cooperation in developing strategies to make the world’s roads safer.