A national move to improve road safety in Iran: According to estimates, road traffic accidents around the world account for approximately 3000 deaths on a daily basis, and over 1.2 million people die, while between 20 and 50 million suffer disability every year. Road accident is the 8th cause of deaths across the globe. This is while over 90 percent of the casualties are in developing countries. Unfortunately Iran ranks the fifth in the world in car accidents death tolls. The 3rd International Roads Safety Congress has been held in Tehran to find and present ways to reduce the casualties and disabilities due to road accidents.
"Our main goal in this congress is promoting awareness about children’s safety in accidents. We also benefit from experiences of leading countries regarding emergency services", says Professor Doctor Ali Gorji, the neuroscience researcher and the scientific secretary of the congress.
As road accident is the second-highest cause of death in Iran after cardiovascular diseases, the country has adopted policies to reduce fatalities through different solutions.
The high death tolls in car accidents are blamed on high speed, unsafe vehicles, widespread disregard of traffic laws and inadequate emergency services. But these are the points Iran’s road traffic police is seriously working on.
"We have managed to reduce casualties during the past years. We used modern and smart technologies in our roads, we established good relations with organizations related to traffic, we promoted public awareness about traffic laws, and we also modified and updated our 40-year-old traffic laws", says Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Mehmandar, the Road Traffic Police Chief of Iran.
The World Health Organization classifies road traffic injury as a major and neglected public health challenge which requires a concerted prevention effort. Parallel with the United Nation’s move to announce the 2010 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety, Iran’s fifth Five-Year Development Plan aims to reduce road accidents fatalities by 10 percent annually.