Turkish authorities start profiling most dangerous drivers
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Turkish authorities have started to profile drivers most likely to cause road accidents, in a bid to reduce accidents, which kill 7,500 people every year.
The ultimate aim of a study held by the Interior Ministry in September is to decrease this figure by at least half by 2020.
To this end, participants in the group drafted a “road map” titled “Traffic Safety Practice Policy Document.” Formed of five chapters and 84 topic titles, the document has recently been implemented by the ministry.
With the aim of preventing future traffic accidents, experts analyzed highways across Turkey, detecting 1892 accident hotspots.
In the first part of the study, eight different crews researched and analyzed 30 spots to remedy deficiencies and take necessary measures against possible road accidents.
Road accidents decreased by 43 percent across Turkey in 2017 following the implementation of that preliminary study’s recommendations.
Meanwhile, 224,396 drivers who drive vehicles carrying seasonal workers or agricultural vehicles such as tractors were trained as part of government efforts.
One thousand out of the 10,000 drivers deemed most likely to be in an accident were taken in for training.
During the training process, authorities gathered information about the causes of the accidents from drivers and gave them psychological tests.
Almost 67,000 people have been killed in traffic accidents across Turkey in the past 14 years, according to data from the Turkish General Directorate of Security.
In the first nine months of 2017, 307,000 traffic accidents occurred, killing 2,700 people, and wounding 232,000 people, according to a report recently released by the directorate.
In the last four years, more than four million traffic accidents occurred, killing 21,000 people and injuring more than 674,000.
The number of people killed on Turkish roads averages out at 7,500 annually, a rate almost unchanged since 2003, according to the report.
The report revealed that traffic accidents in the last 14 years killed four times the amount of people who died in the deadliest earthquake in Turkey’s history in 1999, whose death toll came to 17,000, according to official figures.
Forty-six traffic accidents occur each hour on average across Turkey, and an average of 10 people die in traffic accidents every day.
At least 21.8 million vehicles – 11.8 million of which were automobiles – were involved in traffic accidents between January and September.