The Head of the Turkish Cypriot Prevention of Road Traffic Accidents Association Dr Mehmet Avci said the figures for road traffic accidents in the north was damning. According to statistics, 722 people have died in traffic accidents over the past 16 years. He said the numbers were both “saddening and frightening”.
The data show that between 2001 and 2016 there have been 603 fatal accidents, leading to 722 deaths.
Avci blamed the past and current administrations for not acting to counter the problem.
“Road-related deaths this year include children who have been caught under tractors, people without seat belts, babies and infants not in their baby chairs coupled with speeding,” he said and that in 2016, 28 people had died.
“Looking at the statistics over the last year, it’s easy to see that nothing has been done to help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. No preventive measures on the roads, no improvement to road safety, nothing,” he added.
Between 2001 and 2015, 12,658 people were injured in traffic accidents.
Recently, police patrols have been few and far between, Avci noted, also pointing out that traffic laws had not been updated either.
The traffic department had been established so that more rapid decisions and actions could be taken under one roof.
“However this department has never made its presence felt,” he noted. “If this department carried out proper campaigns, briefing, education programmes and controls, at least 5-10 people could have been saved”.
The traffic department’s main function was to increase road safety, reduce the number of accidents and prevent illegal communal transportation, said Avci.