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Car accidents exact heavy toll in Iran

One Iranian dies every 24 minutes from car accidents. Up to 22,000 deaths, related to car accidents, were registered in the last Iranian year which ended March 20, 2003, a senior health official in charge of forestalling accidents says, IRNA reported from Tehran.

According to Dr Alireza Moghisi, while the world's average death toll from car accidents among every 100,000 people is 22.6, for Iran this figure stands at 30.

"The biggest death toll from accidents in the country is related to driving and traffic," he said in the city of Saveh in Markazi (Central) province Monday night.

"Between 10 and 20 percent of the accidents occur near schools and places, frequented much by students," Moghisi added. According to Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram, the number of road accidents in Iran is 21 times higher than that in developed countries.

Some 5.3 million vehicles ply Iran's roads, which is much less than that in the developed countries and therefore the number of cars is not a factor in the high rate of accidents, he said in December.

In the United States, there is one automobile for every 1.1 people. In Europe, this figure is 1.5 whereas in Iran, there is only one car for every 12 people.

Meanwhile, every 10,000 vehicles entail in 1.5 deaths in developed countries, against a staggering 33 fatalities for the same number of vehicles in Iran, Khorram says.

According to traffic officials, an average of 200,000 fender-benders are reported annually in Iran.

Experts relate the high toll to dilapidated vehicles, reckless driving, insufficient emergency assistance, lack of communication facilities and inadequate emergency centers on the roads.

Over 1.5 million old cars, which have been running for over 20 years, ply Iranian roads, making them notoriously unsafe.

Tehran has three million vehicles, two million above capacity

Tehran, Jan 19, IRNA -- A traffic official said here Monday that close to 3.04 million vehicles ply Tehran's roads, "at the time when the capital city's capacity is about one million."

Tehran Deputy Traffic Chief Colonel Mohsen Ansari, speaking at the ceremonies marking the 'clean day,' said that 1,200 vehicles enter the city's traffic each day, "while not a single one is discarded."

About one million vehicles are above 20 years of age, "of which 500,000 are above 30 and considered dilapidated," Ansari added.

He referred to bad driving habits and non-standard engines of automobiles as other factors contributing to unhealthy air pollution and traffic problems in the capital city.

Timely tuning of engine will reduce fuel consumption by about 10 percent. Also, engine inspection saves dlrs 90,000 monthly in gasoline costs nationwide, he added.

Iran, ranks second in the world after the US in gasoline consumption with 4,345 liters per vehicles annually.

... Payvand News - 1/20/04 ... --

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