Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Road safety in Lebanon

Unfortunately, road safety is hardly a priority in cash-strapped Lebanon. Combined with the notion generally held by every Lebanese that he is the best driver ever in history, and you can imagine the numerous tragic accidents occurring almost daily on the roads and highways.

But now the Lebanese government has launched a campaign to bring this issue to the attention of all Formula 1 drivers. Together with Yasa, the government has put up billboard, is handing out flyers and has even set up a mini open air museum consisting of car wrecks around the Bechara Khoury square.

Yesterday, police men were handing out the below flyer:

The Arabic consists of the warning that although German cars are the best, they don’t provide protection in case of accident. The deceased car is a Mercedes no doubt.

The Yasa organization is very active in raising awareness regarding the dangers of the Lebanese (roads). It was founded by the friends of Tariq Assi who died in a car accident. And well, they got their work cut out for them. Almost every day, you read about fatal car accidents, often involving young people. The reasons for the accidents vary from speeding and alcohol to badly maintained roads or even non-lighted traffic works.

Quite a few times, I was nastily surprised by fences and what have you that were put up on the road for repairs, without any warning signs or lights Also, the quality of the roads is often substandard in Lebanon, which makes for dangerous situations in which you can easily lose control over the steering wheel.

Let’s hope the Yaza campaign will work to make the roads safer.

The Internal Security Forces are sending mass SMS'ses saying"One minute late...a whole lifetime gainedYou are responsibleRoad incidents are not accidental" (SIC)


Gerard said...

Lebanese drivers may not be the best drivers in the world, but they sure are better drivers than for instance Dutch drivers. On Lebanese roads there are so many more circumstances to react to in a split second. If you can do this without daily accidents you are not a bad driver. Though it is not wise, to think that one is invulnerable. And this appears to happen too on the Lebanese roads.