Iran's Minister of Road and Transportation said in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province on Sunday that the number of road accidents in Iran is 21 times the number in the developed world, IRNA reported.
This speaks of is pitiable state of the roads in the country, Ahmad Khorram said.
He told IRNA that in the developed countries for 10,000 vehicles there is 1.5 fatalities, compared to Iran where with the same number of vehicles a staggering 33 deaths are registered.
Khorram said that 5.3 million vehicles are plying the road in the country which is much less than in the developed countries and therefore the density of automobiles is not a factor in high number of accidents.
In the US there is one automobile for every 1.1 people, in Europe the figure is 1.5 automobile whereas in Iran, for every 12 people there is 1 automobile 'some which are heavy or semi-heavy'.
He further said the prudent approach is to build freeways and expressways adding, "Studies point to the need for over 16,000 km of four-lane highways in the country."
Since the beginning of the highways-building program in the country, 'only 970 km of highways have been built, of which 700 kms are in use', Khorram added.
An official of the Road and Transportation Ministry said last month that road accidents claim 60 lives daily. Deputy Minister for road maintenance Ahmad Majidi said that 80 percent of the dead are between 20-30 years of age. He said the number of accidents is 400,000 annually, 'of which 96 percent occur on intra-city roads'.
Majidi said the average annual increase of accident-related fatalities is 15.1 percent adding over five million vehicles ply the national roads and 850,000 automobiles are added to the figure annually.
Based on official figures, Iran ranks first in auto-related fatalities in the world, said Iran's Coroners Office in a bulletin last month.
... Payvand News - 12/15/03 ... --