12,261 road accident deaths in eight months in Iran

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Iranian Legal Medicine Organization announced that 12,261 people were killed in car accidents in the first eight months of Persian year beginning since March 21, the state-run ISNA news agency reported on January 5.
This includes 9,587 men and 2,674 women.

The figure increased 0.9% compared to last year (1396). The number of injured people also rose by 9.5%.

Iran suffers from a high rate of traffic accidents, with an estimated 17,000 casualties every year. The toll is widely blamed on poor safety, the presence of older vehicles and the inadequacy of emergency services.

Iran’s road accidents and the high number of resulting deaths and injuries in recent years have rendered intense disputes in the regime’s media and discussions among senior officials.

Non-standard vehicles

The poor quality of vehicles made inside Iran, as the company owners seek further profits, make them unsafe and fail to meet necessary standards.

The country’s most popular and affordable car – the Pride – has been partly blamed for this as the majority have no airbags or anti-locking-brake systems.

Cited by the state-run ISNA news agency on August 18, the former Iranian Health Minister, Seyed Hassan Hashemi had said, “We don’t sense these daily developments. Maybe the reason is we don’t place much value in people’s lives… the highest number of casualties in human societies are occurring in our region these days,” he added with the utmost audacity.

“The car industry is imposing cruelty on the people. However, considering the fact that people’s lives matter less, there is probably no ear in this industry, nor in the parliament… there has been much talk in the government in this regard, yet there is no necessary power to prevent the manufacturing of certain vehicles,” he added without providing any details regarding the regime’s corrupt apparatus.

15 to 30 year olds are the main victims of road accidents in Iran, Hashemi continued, adding Iran ranks 2nd in the Middle East and 8th in the world in regards to road accidents, behind countries such as Libya, Thailand, Malawi and Congo.

Hashemi did not referred to the fact that people with links to regime officials are plundering enormous wealth while producing low quality goods, such as vehicles, and placing the general public at enormous risks.

The road traffic police chief Mohammad Hossein Hamidi had commented on the issue in March saying, “In comparison to the weak and unsafe vehicles made inside Iran, many of the imported second-hand vehicles that have been on the roads for 10 years, lead to no injuries or deaths for the passengers even in major accidents.

However, domestic-made vehicles in the same accidents see all the passengers lose their lives.”
“Making the vehicles safe will reduce Iran’s road accident casualties by at least 40 to 45 percent,” he added.

The road traffic police chief Mohammad Hossein Hamidi had commented on the issue in March saying, “In comparison to the weak and unsafe vehicles made inside Iran, many of the imported second-hand vehicles that have been on the roads for 10 years, lead to no injuries or deaths for the passengers even in major accidents.

However, domestic-made vehicles in the same accidents see all the passengers lose their lives.”
“Making the vehicles safe will reduce Iran’s road accident casualties by at least 40 to 45 percent,” he added.

Poor roads

According to officials involved in the regime’s Road and Construction Ministry, and the police, the main reason behind road accidents in Iran are the country’s very poor road conditions, being very old without necessary standards and poorly maintained, particularly in mountainous regions.
“The roads from Mazandarn (northern Iran) to the capital are more than 80 years old, no longer meeting today’s traffic volume and technology demands,” according the state-run ISNA news agency.

Facts and figures

Out of 190 countries, Iran has more deadly car accidents on the roads, immediately after Sierra Leone, a report compiled by the country’s Central Insurance’s research department says.

Speaking at the fringes of a ceremony commemorating car accident victims, traffic police chief, Taqi Mehri, said that 16,201 people lost their lives in car accidents in Iran, during the last Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2016-March 21, 2017).

“Since 2005, 277,000 have been killed and 4,300,000 injured in car accidents across the country,” said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps General Mehri, adding, “Fifty percent of those killed in car accidents are 20-50-year old, while 8% of the victims are children.”

Meanwhile, without elaboration, Mehri admitted that there are 3400 dangerous driving spots, nearly 2000 of them at the periphery of the cities in the country.

According to Mehri, at lest 459,000 lost their lives in traffic accidents in Iran within less than two decades since 1998. More than 4.5 million people were injured in accidents during the same time. Considering that in the last 19 years Iran’s population has been between 70 and 80 million, this number constitutes a high rate of accident casualties.

The number of road fatalities in this time period, is higher than the official number of Iranian casualties in the 8 year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

A report jointly compiled by UNICEF in tandem with Iran’s Health Ministry, the State Welfare Organisation, police, and the Municipality of Tehran said that every 19 minutes someone dies on Iran’s roads, and every two minutes a family hears that a relative has survived a crash but with serious injury and perhaps lifelong disability.

Traffic fatalities cost Iran’s economy $6 billion every year, which amounts to more than 5 percent of the country’s gross national product.

Low construction budget

Year after year the Iranian regime decreases the Road and Construction Ministry’s budget, while increasing the budget of repressive forces, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its cultural entities (read institutions involved in Tehran’s meddling abroad).

“In 2016, this ministry received only 1% of its $1.83 billion budget, meaning only $19 million,” according to Road & Construction Minister Abbas Akhundi.

This ministry’s 2018 budget saw a 25% decrease in comparison to the year before, according to the state-run Tasnim news agency.

These budget cuts come at a time when the country’s roads are old, in very poor conditions, non-standard and are in desperate need of repair and reconstruction.

As a result, the main element behind the high number of road accidents in Iran is the ruling regime that is involved in plundering the country’s national wealth. Instead of allocating these God-given riches to the country’s construction projects, this money is only used for domestic crackdown and exporting terrorism and fundamentalism abroad.

This is exactly why the Iranian people, in their protests and strikes, are demanding the regime end its initiatives in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and start providing for the people. Of course, the Iranian regime is going to limits to not hear these voices.

The Iranian people are rightfully expecting politicians in European countries to pressure the Iranian regime in their talks and trade negotiations to have Tehran end its huge expenditures in Middle East countries and provide necessary budgets for the country’s construction needs.

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