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Traffic incidents cause carnage in the Kurdistan Region

Traffic incidents cause carnage in the Kurdistan Region
A traffic accident in the town of Chamchamal. Photo: Chamchamal Traffic

Peregraf- Haval Zangana

Ali and Karwan could not pay much attention to the road or their car's speed. They were driving to a place they have been trying to reach for years.

Karwan Bahadin was driving, and Ali Raouf was next to him, together going to a private university in Kirkuk. They were driving over 160km per hour, to fill the enrollment form.

They have been driving from the town of Chamchamal, south of Sulaimaniyah, to Kirkuk, at Qarahanjir, a town just outside Kirkuk, something happened, and everything changed suddenly.

Ali, 22, recalls the incident, "Ali was required to present some papers to fill the form. We were driving above 160km per hour and suddenly faced an incident. Our car was upside down."

It was last year. Karwan died immediately, and Ali was left three months in a coma.

According to the data of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), traffic incidents kill hundreds each year and wounded thousands. The spokesman of the Department of Transportation in the Kurdistan Region Asaad Mala Karim told Peregraf, "Last year, 4,175 traffic accidents were recorded in the region, 650 people died due to them, and 4,800 were wounded."

The number was not as high as in 2017, where 690 people died.

Traffic accidents are reported each week.

Ali Raouf and Karwan Bahadin could not realise their wish for further studies due to that moment.

When he woke up, his family avoided telling him that his friend is dead. After he knew, he has not been normal since.

Some of the major roads are rebranded as death roads, including the road between Kalar district and city of Sulaimaniyah. A grassroots campaign started last where people protested the conditions of the road. The campaign featured small placards on cars destroyed by accidents on the road, the banners read: When is my turn?

The campaign manager Kosar Omer told Peregraf, "Car incidents increase, due to the bad conditions of the road and not following instructions by drivers," he added, "We've launched this awareness campaign for that purpose."

The campaign started in Garmiyan administration, southeast of Sulaimaniyah, and later led the way to the other areas of Sulaimaniyah and Erbil. People were posting their photos online with a poster written: When is my turn?

The first phase is completed, which was to convey the message, and the second will start with exhibitions and activities on the streets. People cite two major reasons, the first is following traffic instructions, and the second is the bad condition of the roads. Many roads are narrow and full of patches, holes and bumps.

Transportation Department has both short-term and long-term plans. The short-term plan focuses on the areas full of car accidents, and the long-term is a full-fledged plan implemented throughout all different departments of the government.

Karim said 60 per cent of the traffic incidents are caused due to passing the speed limit, lack of attention to other safety measures cause 30 per cent incidents, and the road conditions are 10 per cent. He believes that standard roads may decrease the incidents.

There are 1.5 million cars in the Kurdistan region, with five million population.

Ali Raouf is still sad for his friend, Karwan, who could not continue studying. He also had a strong blow to his head, awaiting further surgeries to be normal.

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Traffic incidents cause carnage in the Kurdistan Region

2019-01-17 14:29:24

Peregraf- Haval Zangana

Ali and Karwan could not pay much attention to the road or their car's speed. They were driving to a place they have been trying to reach for years.

Karwan Bahadin was driving, and Ali Raouf was next to him, together going to a private university in Kirkuk. They were driving over 160km per hour, to fill the enrollment form.

They have been driving from the town of Chamchamal, south of Sulaimaniyah, to Kirkuk, at Qarahanjir, a town just outside Kirkuk, something happened, and everything changed suddenly.

Ali, 22, recalls the incident, "Ali was required to present some papers to fill the form. We were driving above 160km per hour and suddenly faced an incident. Our car was upside down."

It was last year. Karwan died immediately, and Ali was left three months in a coma.

According to the data of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), traffic incidents kill hundreds each year and wounded thousands. The spokesman of the Department of Transportation in the Kurdistan Region Asaad Mala Karim told Peregraf, "Last year, 4,175 traffic accidents were recorded in the region, 650 people died due to them, and 4,800 were wounded."

The number was not as high as in 2017, where 690 people died.

Traffic accidents are reported each week.

Ali Raouf and Karwan Bahadin could not realise their wish for further studies due to that moment.

When he woke up, his family avoided telling him that his friend is dead. After he knew, he has not been normal since.

Some of the major roads are rebranded as death roads, including the road between Kalar district and city of Sulaimaniyah. A grassroots campaign started last where people protested the conditions of the road. The campaign featured small placards on cars destroyed by accidents on the road, the banners read: When is my turn?

The campaign manager Kosar Omer told Peregraf, "Car incidents increase, due to the bad conditions of the road and not following instructions by drivers," he added, "We've launched this awareness campaign for that purpose."

The campaign started in Garmiyan administration, southeast of Sulaimaniyah, and later led the way to the other areas of Sulaimaniyah and Erbil. People were posting their photos online with a poster written: When is my turn?

The first phase is completed, which was to convey the message, and the second will start with exhibitions and activities on the streets. People cite two major reasons, the first is following traffic instructions, and the second is the bad condition of the roads. Many roads are narrow and full of patches, holes and bumps.

Transportation Department has both short-term and long-term plans. The short-term plan focuses on the areas full of car accidents, and the long-term is a full-fledged plan implemented throughout all different departments of the government.

Karim said 60 per cent of the traffic incidents are caused due to passing the speed limit, lack of attention to other safety measures cause 30 per cent incidents, and the road conditions are 10 per cent. He believes that standard roads may decrease the incidents.

There are 1.5 million cars in the Kurdistan region, with five million population.

Ali Raouf is still sad for his friend, Karwan, who could not continue studying. He also had a strong blow to his head, awaiting further surgeries to be normal.