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  Motor Accidents Claimed more lives this Holiday Season
  Written By:  Moneer Al-Omari ( YEMEN POST STAFF )
  Article Date: December 24, 2007 

Just two days before the Eid, 13 locals from Taiz's Al-Ahkoum area died when their car crushed into Sumara Mountain after the driver lost control of his 1985 land cruiser. Instead of waiting for their arrival, their families will sadly prepare their coffins and graves.

Eid occasion is a chance for visiting families and relatives or even spending the vacation in some place away from the job's worry and responsibilities. However, such occasions turn to be sad ones because of motor accidents responsible for unreasonable rates of death, injury and material loss cases.

Hundreds of car accidents occur during the Eid vacation, especially Aid Al-Adha, known also as the Great Eid because all people migrating outside their villages or districts return back to their homelands to see their families and relatives. Further, those who do not return back in Al-Fitr vacation will travel in Al-Adha vacation.

Experts estimate that 50 accidents occur nationwide every week, hinting that most accidents are caused by reckless driving, technical faults and tires flattening.

They also indicate that the victims of motor accidents are higher than those falling on armed clashes in Iraq or some other nations in war. Thus, they leave behind thousands of orphanages, widows, etc.

According to many citizens, most accidents are caused by Peugeot cars whose drivers drive at high speed and make more than one trip a day, especially during Eid seasons when there is a high demand over transportation means. They further stress that some of them spend many days without sleeping in an effort to make more trips for more money.


Accusation change

Traffic officials blame the increased number of car accidents on drivers and believe most accidents could be avoided. They further assure that most accidents are caused by drivers' remissness and carelessness, especially when they do not make proper and regular maintenance for their cars, especially those working on the highways.

Policeman Mohammed Ali points out that conducting regular car maintenance will lessen the number of accidents, stressing that there should be more strict measures on spare parts and tires imports as fake parts and tires are responsible for a large number of accidents.

In return, drivers deny such allegation and claim that bad roads are responsible for most accidents as they are narrow and poorly asphalted. Further, they lack in the required road signs which could prevent many accidents if available.


Sana'a-Taiz highway ww

Sana'a-Taiz highway is one of the busiest roads nationwide and almost half of the country’s  citizens pass by it. The road links Sana'a, the capital, to Aden and other provinces including Taiz, Ibb, Dhamar, Al-Baidha, Lahj, Abyan, Hadramout and Al-Dhal'e.

This two-direction road was constructed during the late 1970s and suffers from the lack of maintenance works and passes by numerous dangerous areas including Sumara Mountain, Naqil Al-Sayani, Yasleh, etc. it is responsible for many accidents that claim lives  and costs millions in material losses.

Recently, there have been new plans to expand this road and to create alternative roads in the dangerous areas; however, construction works are slow and non-complaint with international standards. 

Engineer Abdullah Al-Sameen declares that most roads are constructed without the direct supervision of Ministry of Public Works and Roads' offices in the governorates. Further, most roads are constructed by unqualified contractors.

Al-Sameen maintains that most contractors play with standards in order to make more money, laying more responsibility on engineers who supervise the construction of these roads.


Youth are victims

Official statistics show that over 40 percent of victims are youth, particularly when they shape the highest percentage of drivers, road users, etc. and these accidents prevent the national economy from an active work force and turn them to be outside the market labor seeking the help of others.

Underage drivers are responsible for several accidents occurring inside the cities as they drive cars without enough experience or driving license. Still, when they may kill or injure themselves, they pose a great risk on road users' lives.


Ways for avoiding accidents

Experts emphasize the importance of making wide awareness campaign across the republic in order to educate drivers about how to use the road, maintaining that there should be strict measures upon issuing driving licenses and imposing heavy fines on those who violate the traffic regulations.

Still, policemen should force drivers, particularly those working on highways, to make regular check of their cars to avoid any possible breakdowns or technical faults.

Experts also demand the existence of standards to relegate the imports of spare parts and tires responsible for numerous accidents, hinting businessmen should fear Allah before fearing the concerned authorities for any accidents resulting from using fake spare parts or tires.