Karaj, Tehran Prov, Jan 1, IRNA -- An Interior Ministry Official in charge of Traffic Affairs Mohammad Raoufi said here Wednesday that traffic-related fatalities increase by an average of 10 percent in Iran annually.
Speaking at a provincial traffic meeting, he added that the figures indicate that 62 percent of traffic-related death occurs due to impact to the head and upper body.
He said currently about 40 percent of drivers obey the law on buckling-up while driving, adding "the use of seat belts is becoming more prevalent."
"Unfortunately over 20,000 people were killed last year due to traffic-related accidents," he said.
Old cars are a cause of road accidents in the country. Iran has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world with an average of 200,000 reported annually.
Iran's presidential office is to study the proposal to dispose of dilapidated cars.
Majlis would soon start debate on the proposal after it is approved by the cabinet, said official in charge of air pollution control in Tehran Majid Shafipour.
Shafipour was quoted by `Qalam-e Sabz-e Iran' website as saying that the proposal has so far undergone drastic changes since it was first submitted to the cabinet in 1997.
Over 1.5 million dilapidated cars which have been running for over 20 years are plying on Iranian roads. Many of the vehicles over 15 years of age are still operating in Iran, requiring adoption of a serious plan for their replacement.
Dilapidated vehicles, insufficient emergency road assistance, lack of communication facilities to swiftly relay information on traffic-related accidents and inadequate emergency centers on roads are the main causes of the high death toll in road accidents in the country, traffic experts say.
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