• Beirut

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 5:25 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 5:34 AM

Lebanese Communities Seek Urgent Solutions to High Traffic Accident Rates

(AWP) - Lebanon is struggling with an increasing rate of annual deaths and injuries due to road accidents. Experts attribute this to several reasons, the most prominent of which is the country’s ongoing economic crisis that has exacerbated such casualties.

Road safety organisations say that 384 people were killed on the road last year, an average of at least one death a day, in addition to thousands of injuries.

They consider the death rate to be very high compared to similar-sized countries.

Joe Daccache, Vice-President of YASA for Road Safety, said, “The numbers are multiplying. We all know that there has been an economic crisis since 2019, the social crisis, the psychological pressure on citizens, the absence of road maintenance, lighting and car maintenance.”

He added, “We are ending the second year without mandatory mechanical inspections of cars. Added to this is phone use, meaning driving without focusing on the road.”

The rising rate of accidents prompted Lena Gebrane to launch the Kunhadi Association for Road Safety following the death of her son in one of these accidents in 2006.

She explained, “Kunhadi is an association I founded after the death of my son, Hadi, in a car accident. In order for us not to lose young people like Hadi on Lebanese roads, and for families not to go through what we went through, we founded the Kunhadi association, which means ‘Be Calm’ while driving. It bears Hadi’s name to preserve his memory.”

Gebrane added, “Unfortunately, the rate of traffic accidents has increased again, and the highest percentage is the number of deaths. If you notice the news, there are one or two deaths every day, and there are days when we see 4 or 6 deaths. We are still making efforts, but we hope that the state – despite its limited financial resources, and the security forces, will tighten measures to prevent deaths on Lebanese roads.”