Oct 11 2012
By Fareed Arbil
Azzaman, October 11, 2012
Driving on roads in Iraq’s Kurdish region is very dangerous. Recent casualty figures caused by road accidents make roads in the region’s three provinces among the most dangerous in the world.
Some 490 people have died in 3,612 road accidents that took place in the region in the past eight months, according to new statistics.
The casualty figure is much higher than in Sweden, a nation of nine million people and a country where there is one car for every two people. Last year, fewer than 300 people die on roads in Sweden.
In the Kurdish region, there are only four million people and fewer than half a million vehicles.
The high casualty figure and the surge in number of road accidents has prompted the region’s Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani to urge tougher measures to control traffic in the region.
The officials is reported to even have called for harsher penalties on those violating traffic rules and the imposition of speed limits.
The semi-independent Kurdish region comprises the three northern Iraqi provinces of Arbil, Dahouk and Sulaimaniya.