August 20, 2016

Two deaths a day on Yangon’s roads

Two people die every day in road accidents in Yangon, with the vast majority of fatalities caused by negligence and recklessness, according to an official from the Traffic Rule Enforcement Supervisory Committee.
Last year, 4,163 people were killed in road accidents in Myanmar, said committee member Dr Thit Lwin. This accounts to 11 people per day.
U Win Myint, a taxi driver with more than 10 years’ service in Yangon, blamed speeding, drink-driving, motorcycle helmets and seatbelts for high numbers of road-related deaths and injuries across the country.
Although the Automobile Law came into effect on 7 September making seat belts compulsory, enforcement will be challenging as the use of seatbelts in Myanmar is extremely low.
“It is impossible to ensure road safety by law enforcement officials alone,” Dr Thit Lwin told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
According to the preliminary findings of the World Health Organization’s report on road safety in Southeast Asia last week, it said Myanmar looks set to be ranked second behind Thailand in road death per 100,000 people.
Dr Thit Lwin stressed the need of public participation in efforts to ensure more effective enforcement of traffic rules across the country.
With an influx of imported cars following the government’s relaxation of rules and regulations on vehicle imports, roads, especially in Yangon, are becoming congested, resulting in a greater number of crashes. Outside of Yangon, accidents involving motorcyclists make up the greatest number of road crashes.


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