Gov’t moves to reduce number of traffic deaths

Gov’t moves to reduce number of traffic deaths

Gov’t moves to reduce number of traffic deaths

Road accidents claimed 3,800 lives in Turkey in 2001, compared to 5,500 in 2000. DHA photo

Turkey’s notorious death toll from road accidents has significantly fallen in recent years, but more efforts are still needed to slash the number of casualties by half over the next 10 years, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

An action plan, discussed yesterday at the Higher Board of Road Safety, would include extending the use of electronic surveillance systems, increasing the number of “honorary traffic inspectors” and improving first aid services, Erdoğan said at the opening of the meeting. Recent improvements in infrastructure and equipment have allowed for the inauguration of a system under which first aid would reach accident sites within 10 minutes in urban locations, and 30 minutes in rural areas, he said.

In 2011, the number of vehicles in Turkey reached 16 million and road accidents claimed 3,800 lives, compared to 8.3 million vehicles and 5,500 deaths in 2000.

“As our country is developing and becoming richer, the number of vehicles and drivers increases by one million on average every year,” Erdoğan said, adding that more than 23 million Turks were currently licensed drivers.