21K die in road accidents annually: MoH
Car Accident - YOUM7/ Islam Osama

CAIRO:  About 21,000 are killed and 150,000 injured annually on Egypt’s roads in accidents, said Egyptian Minister of Health Adel al-Adawy in a news conference Saturday.

Adawy announced the ministry will increase the number of ambulances on the 58 highways in according to a new national project, Youm7 reported.

The ministry will establish seven emergency centers in many governorates to assist those injured on 23 roads, Adawy continued.

A number of rapid-response teams have also been formed on highways, he said.

In 2013, the number of car accidents reached 15,578 incidents, in comparison to 15,516 accidents in 2012, according to an annual bulletin from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued June 2014.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 report, an estimated 12,000 Egyptians die every year in automobile accidents.

Eighteen students burned to death and 18 others were injured as their school bus crashed into an oil tank truck in the Delta Governorate of Beheira in November 2014.

The General Authority for Roads, Bridges and Land Transports spokesperson Abdel Aziz Ahmed Abdo told The Cairo post Saturday that the  authority is taking three major steps to decrease the rate of road accidents: expanding several single carriageways on highways to accommodate two-way movement, establishing separate lanes for trucks and cars, and a maintenance initiative for 54 roads, to ensure all road signs are visible.

Abdo added that the authority is preparing a new Banha-Shubra highway to ease traffic movement on the Agricultural Alexandria Road to avoid accidents; the new road is scheduled to be completed in August 2015.

He noted that the authority is removing unofficial speed bumps that were built by the residents on the roads, to replace them with regulated bumps from the ministry.

After the Beheira school bus accident, the authority launched a proposal to use the Intelligent Transport system to guarantee the safety and the security for the citizens; according to this system, cameras will be planted along the roads to monitor those who violates the road rules.

“80 percent of road accidents is due to human error,” he said, adding that 5 percent could be due to the roads; meanwhile, 10 percent could be caused by the drivers and 5 percent due to bad weather.

In September 2014, Traffic Department head Mostafa Darwish told Youm7 that a total of 120 out of 350 drivers selected randomly at highway checkpoints tested positive for drug use in August.

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