Road accidents cost Bahrain $1.3m last year
Manama, April 18, 2010
Road traffic accidents cost Bahrain's economy more than half million dinars ($1.33 million) last year, officials have announced.
A total of 1,810 people were injured at a cost of up to BD300 to treat each patient, as the latest Traffic Directorate statistics showed an accident was reported every 6.7 minutes.
However, the true cost of road accidents is believed to be much higher as they did not include the economic loss of productivity from the deaths of 76 people.
Health Minister Dr Faisal Al Hamer yesterday stressed crashes could be prevented.
'The amount of awareness among people has risen in the past 40 years,' he said.
'They realise that accidents are predictable and therefore can be prevented.'
Dr Al Hamer was speaking as he opened the first Joint Symposium on Traffic Accidents...Ongoing Tragedy held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Sanabis.
The two-day event features the participation of Health Ministry, Works Ministry, Traffic Directorate, Bahrain University and Bahrain Insurance Society.
It will conclude with recommendations to be outlined today and submitted to relevant authorities.
Dr Al Hamer stressed the need for the co-operation of government authorities, private and academic institutes to raise awareness about the issue and find ways to prevent traffic accidents.
'We also need to educate the community that accidents are preventable,' he said.
A total of 377,432 traffic violations were recorded last year, of which 8.4 per cent were due to speeding and 4.5 per cent from jumping red lights.
The Alba roundabout was Bahrain's most dangerous with 15 accidents reported, including one which was fatal.
Nuwaidrat roundabout came second with 11 accidents, two of which were serious, while the Isa Town Gate roundabout recorded 10 accidents.
Bahrain's most dangerous road was the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Highway, with 55 accidents, including five fatalities.
The Shaikh Salman Highway recorded 113 accidents, including four fatalities, and the King Faisal Highway had 56 accidents, of which four were fatal.
Bahrain also reported 149 motorbike accidents, with three fatalities and 44 people seriously injured.
Fifty-eight bicycle accidents were recorded, five of which were fatal and 22 others involved suffering serious injuries.
There were also 567 road accidents involving pedestrians, which left 28 people dead and 159 seriously injured.
The peak time for accidents was found to be between 8pm and 9pm, while the safest time to travel was between 4am and 5am.
Bahrainis recorded the highest number of accidents, totalling 2,152, followed by Indians with 367.
Third was Pakistanis with 135 accidents, Bangladeshis 122 accidents, Saudis 59 accidents and other GCC countries 20.
Other Arab countries recorded 120 accidents, while a total of 161 accidents were recorded by people from other countries not stated.
Meanwhile, the symposium heard that fatal traffic accidents were set to rise dramatically across the Middle East and North Africa region in the next decade.
It is predicted that there will be 73,000 road traffic fatalities this year and the figure will reach 94,000 by 2020.-TradeArabia News Service