Traffic and Roads From Hell
to prevent road casualties. The Ministry of Interior in the past few years ordered a large number of speed cameras and with recent rules and regulations in place the process of getting a license has changed. There are now both practical and theoretical tests similar to European countries prior to a license being granted. Nonetheless, 300 new mobile PoliScanspeed systems, which are proven to be far more effective than conventional radar devices in detecting road offenses, are to be in place by May 2013. The question that remains is whether these measures have been enough or effective in tackling the escalating numbers of car accidents.
In 2009 the number of deaths caused by car accidents was reported to be more than 500 people, however only a year down the road the numbers have almost doubled. Worryingly, there are currently about 1 million cars in Kurdistan where the overall population is just over 4 million. A constantly increasing number of cars are being imported from neighboring countries, and with no imposed tax regulation and demand this region is a heaven for car businesses but hell for a lacking traffic system. According to recent research, traffic fatality in Kurdistan is nearly six times higher than in the UK. Comparing the Kurdistan region’s 4.5 million population to the UK’s 64 million the picture is undoubtedly catastrophic.
Besides installing speed cameras and advancing driving schools, there are other far more important factors that the government can introduce in order to put the Kurds on a safer roadmap. Firstly, regulating the import of cars and ensuring the safety of the vehicles entering the region. Secondly, enforcing greater and stricter traffic laws and monitory systems and officers that would not let traffic offenses go unchecked. And of course promoting public transport in the main cities, building an advanced traffic and road infrastructure that attracts passengers to safer and more comfortable public transport.
Death is inventible, but traffic accidents shouldn’t be. We Kurds have a long way ahead of us and learning is an integral part of the way forward, but first the government needs to do its homework and introduce the lessons to a society that is clearly in need of strict homeschooling.