Death traps for tourists

Hol­i­day driv­ing can be a deadly night­mare, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On Road -

DRIV­ING on an over­seas hol­i­day can be fa­tal. More than 25,000 tourists die ev­ery year on an over­seas trip.

Driv­ing is the No.1 risk on any ma­jor trip, ac­cord­ing to the FIA Foun­da­tion in Europe.

Driv­ing trumps ter­ror­ism, plane crashes and in­fec­tious dis­ease.

And the num­bers will only get worse, al­most dou­bling to 45,000 by 2020 and tripling to 75,000 by 2030 in line with the over­all in­crease in road fa­tal­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to re­search.

Tourists ac­count for 5-10 per cent of road fa­tal­i­ties in some Euro­pean coun­tries.

The FIA, a fed­er­a­tion of mo­tor­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions and the gov­ern­ing body of world mo­tor sport, warns against a lethal cock­tail of killer roads, un­safe ve­hi­cles, dan­ger­ous driv­ing and dis­ori­ented trav­ellers in a new re­port pub­lished on World Tourism Day.

‘‘Road safety must be recog­nised as a key el­e­ment of sus­tain­able tourism,’’ FIA Foun­da­tion di­rec­tor­gen­eral David Ward says.

The re­port warns that many tourist desti­na­tions are rated ei­ther medium or high risk for road safety.

The re­port says tourists ex­pect the high­est stan­dards of safety when they step on a plane to travel on hol­i­day.

But once they leave the ar­rivals lounge, they are left to fend for them­selves in an of­ten dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘Un­safe roads, un­trained driv­ers, poorly main­tained ve­hi­cles of­ten with­out seat belts — this is the re­al­ity of travel in many pop­u­lar tourist desti­na­tions,’’ Ward says.

‘‘ The gov­ern­ments of these coun­tries and the in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal tourism in­dus­tries can and must do more to pro­tect tourists on the roads.

‘‘By pro­tect­ing tourists and im­prov­ing road safety, they will also be im­prov­ing pro­tec­tion for their own cit­i­zens.’’

Dan­ger lurks: thou­sands of tourists are dy­ing in road ac­ci­dents through­out the world ev­ery year.

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