Fatal traffic accidents drop as awareness grows

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 07.09.2019 00:12

Fatal traffic accidents and accidents ending up in injuries decreased, thanks to a series of steps to raise awareness and other measures, a minister said on Friday.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced that traffic accidents with fatalities and injuries decreased 12% within first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. Speaking at the promotion of a report on traffic accidents in the capital Ankara, Soylu listed a number of measures they took and credited them with the decrease. Among them were increased traffic inspections by police. "We also diversified our approach to inspection and rather than plainly issuing fines, we tried to make motorists more aware of their actions," Soylu said. He also cited removal of secret speed inspections as a landmark step and said speed limit "corridors" where drivers are monitored on whether they exceeded limit on any designated area that replaced it was "a more civilized approach."

Other measures include re-education of drivers involved in car crashes over traffic safety and education of pupils about traffic safety and encouraging them to warn their parents violating safety rules through a series of campaigns.

Turkey also declared this year as year of "pedestrian-first traffic," something uncommon in a country where pedestrian crossings were often ignored by reckless drivers who barely slow down while approaching one. "We have good feedback from the public and number of pedestrian deaths decreased," Soylu noted, citing that only 223 pedestrians died in traffic accidents this year so far while this number was 341 in the first eight months of 2018.

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